21 October, 2016, 12:00 am
Despite falling short of winning, the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge title, the Telecom Fijian Warriors won Argentinian hearts with a brave performance and gallant fight-back to narrowly lose to the home side 27-26.
The Warriors led 26-20 minutes before the final whistle when the hosts struck a cruel blow to score a converted try and sink the Warriors’ hopes of a grand victory away from home.
I was impressed with the performance of nippy full-back Lepani Raiyala, who scored three tries in the final.
Hats off to our hardworking coach Seruvakula and the boys for rising to the challenge against the Argy Bargy.
Our sluggish first half effort and poor discipline gave the Argentinians a comfortable 17-0 lead but the way the Fijians clawed their way back into the game to take a handy lead showed our fighting spirit and character.
This is what is needed as Fiji prepares for the autumn tests against England and Japan.
I bet those who featured for the Warriors side will secure lucrative contracts with European clubs and secure a berth in our team to the extended National Rugby Championship.
This will be their reward for working hard to make the trip to Uruguay. These players should also be developed for the 2019 RWC in Japan.
Now all eyes would be on the interview schedule for the coaching position for our 7s team.
While FRU has not come public with the names of the applicants, I am adamant that the meritorious candidate will be chosen to spark our 7s team.
On the other hand, Cawanibuka and Kauvesi must be commended for holding the fort in preparing our boys for the Oceania 7s at the ANZ Stadium next month.
Finally, after much speculation, I was shocked to hear that Kenya Rugby Union appointed Innocent Simiyu to the position of 7s head coach. I wonder what had transpired that made the Kenyans change their mind!