4 July, 2017, 12:00 am
BEATING Tonga in front of their King and vocal home fans will be an uphill battle for the Flying Fijians in this weekend’s Pacific Nations Cup which also serves as the world cup qualifying game.
And with a win already in the bag after defeating Samoa at Apia last weekend, the Tongans will surely come out of their comfort zone to deny the Fijians a win.
However, Flying Fijians head coach John McKee is confident he has what it takes to break the hearts of their vocal fans.
McKee, who guided this flamboyant Fijians in their last training session in Nadi yesterday before departing for Tonga this morning has faith in the 28 players he had selected.
The side went through a gruelling training session yesterday with their forwards concentrating heavily on the contact areas as this will be an area targeted by the big and physical Tongan players. He said he had selected experienced and strong players knowing their counterparts would be physical.
“It is good to get back and really focusing on our team plan against Tonga,” said McKee,
“It is very important to get into intensity in our training today especially around the contact area because I know the Tongans are going to be physical and very strong in that area of the game.
“We have some specific players that will be quite effective against so we are working on our clarity around our game plan and some real physical intensity in our training.
“We have selected 28 for the trip and some players have missed out but we got a strong side and we are really focusing on Tonga because we know it is going to be physical.
“We need to be prepared for what Tonga brings to the contest and for us not to only use our backline game and running game but to make sure we have some physical aspects of the game.”
He said the side needed a win to set their platform against Samoa in their remaining qualifying game to secure the top spot from the region.
“There is some pressure around qualifying for the world cup and we need to be on the top of our game.
“As for this game we know the winner takes all and we need to win this week.”
The side departs Nadi for Tonga today.