NZ downs Fiji Blue
25 October, 2016, 12:00 am
THE Fiji Blue team went down to New Zealand in the first match of the 2016 Oceania Zonal Competition at Vodafone Arena yesterday.
The home side lost the first set 17-25 before taking lead in the second and third set (25-20), (25-19) respectively.
New Zealand made changes in their playing pattern which saw them winning the fourth set with a 25-19 win and then defeated in the last set with 15-5 scoreline.
Fiji players lost mental focus late into the match which allowed NZ to pile on their points.
Fiji’s assistant coach Savenaca Tuivaga said a lot of work was required.
“I take off my hat to the boys for playing a team especially like New Zealand,” he said.
“They are a very good team and vying for a spot in the World Championship.
“For us we managed to match them in some aspects of the game. It is a big boost for the boys and it is a round robin and we hope to beat them next time.”
New Zealand players had not been playing together for some time now but certainly look favourites in the competition.
New Zealand coach Colin Redpath said Fiji scared them in the match.
“We blocked a little early and we needed to tighten it up,” he said.
“It was a first match and we are trying to get to the rhythm of the tournament. Fiji gave us a good run.
“We have not had a lot of games lately so it would be good to see the players and know what we need to do in the world qualification tournament.”
Competition continues today.
Fiji: Jope Tokalauvere, Epeli Nawalu, Iniasi Togianivalu, Isei Rasaubale, Jiuta Vateitei, Epeli Ratabacaca, Ame Racule, Kitione Laliakomaicoi, Fereti Tuatoko, Peni Tokaduadua, Philip Foster
New Zealand: Giles Black, Jake Darling, Benjamin Glue, Angus Gourlay, Manaia Harris, Daryl Lewis, Paora Morunga, Simon Peterson, Jack Reopath, Kyle Smith, Bradley Takai, Nicholas Turner