‘Hard’ game | Vunivalu rates Fijians

Josua Tuisova runs away to score Fiji’s try against Australia at Stade Geoffroy- Guichard, Saint Etienne, France. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Winger Suliasi Vunivalu says credit must be given to the FIJI Water Flying Fijians for surprising the Wallabies in their 22-15 win in Saint Etienne, France yesterday.

Vunivalu, who came on as a replacement in the second half, scored Australia’s second try to bring them with a converted try with 12 minutes on the clock.

The former Fiji Bati player, well known for his power to contest the ball in the air, scored from a maul close to the Fiji line.

“We were chasing points at last 12 to 13 minutes. It was a tough 10 towards the end of the game and congratulations to Fiji for pulling it off,” said Vunivalu, who grew up in Bagasau, Toorak in Suva.

“We had a game plan coming into the game and we thought that it was going to work. They played a different style of game and credit to them for turning up today, and they made it hard for us.”

Australia was chasing their second win of the 2023 Rugby World Cup after beating Georgia 35-15 last week. Fiji needed to beat the Wallabies after their 26-32 loss to Wales to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.

Fiji will now face Georgia in Bordeaux on October 1, while Australia will need to regroup and beat Wales in Lyon on September 25.

“We’ve got Wales next week and our focus now is to regroup, refocus and reconnect; get our focus on Wales next weekend and try and win that game,” Vunivalu said. Vunivalu thanked his supporters around the world, including the “boys from the yasa”.

“My parents called me from America, and the boys I grew up with in Toorak, Bagasau they were all neutral and I kinda understood that. So, it was a win-win situation and there was no pressure – it was good.

“Big shoutout to all the gang back home supporting me. All of your messages and everything doesn’t go unnoticed, and thank you to the guys in Sydney.”

More Stories