Right on track
13 November, 2017, 12:00 am
The performance of our 7s side as it ruled Oceania brought memories of our 2016 Olympics champion team. While Fiji’s delivery was jittery on day one, our boys lifted their levels and intensity on day two and thrived to dispose the Cook Islands. Fiji took the Samoans head on and skinned the All Blacks 26 nil in the final. Despite the wet conditions, Fiji was a class above its opponents and executed their game plan beautifully. While the experience of Api, Temo, Nacuqu and Nasoko stood out, little general Jerry Tuwai marshalled Fiji to a stunning victory to retain the title. Meanwhile, newcomers Josua, Paula, Ben and Uluiyata delivered their best and overall, the performance of our 7s team was a delight to the eye.
While Gareth seems to have found the perfect combination, more efforts are needed in our defensive structure and breakdowns. If we are able to get this right, Fiji should be in devastating form come the Dubai 7s. We have beaten Oceania’s best, but we have mighty teams like USA, England and Africa in the series. On the other hand, after being tested by Italy, the Fiji Bati marched on to its third RLWC quarter-final and will face NZ. This year’s Remembrance Day will be remembered by thousands of Tongans as their resurgent Tongan brigade humiliated NZ. Inspired by bucket loads of spectators in red and waving flags, Tonga put up big hits to demolish the hosts and create the biggest upset at this year’s RLWC.
Discipline will be an area of concern for Potter after Fiji conceded 11 penalties and made 14 errors. In the second half Fiji managed to get things rolling and our flyers demonstrated superb finishing prowess to produce a magnificent finish. Tonga showed the world that to beat big nations you don’t need money or resources, but patriotism and a ‘lion’s heart’. Had the Fiji team playing in Italy seen the Tongans play, they would have played much better than the sluggish effort they put in. Fiji was a shadow of the team that played the June Tests and I’m pleading for a polished effort against the brave Irishmen. Finally, I congratulate the mighty All Blacks for beating France away from home and for writing a new record. Make some noise All Blacks fans. We have become the first team to score 2000 tries in Test matches.