Sau charm – Hat trick delight on test debut
21 November, 2018, 12:44 pm
FIJI 7s star Eroni Sau enjoyed a hat-trick of tries on his Test debut as the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians demolished Uruguay 68-7 at Hartpury College near Gloucester on Sunday.
Also chipping in with three tries and strong all-round play was No.8 Peceli Yato as part of a 10-try haul in front of an encouraging 1500 strong crowd in the middle of the English countryside.
“It was an amazing experience to play with the big boys,” Sau told The Fiji Times.
“I see them on TV all the time and always dreamed of playing together with them. This was my first cap for Fiji, so it was special for me and my family. I’ve been patient and worked hard off the field; I’ve been listening to what the trainers and coaches have been telling me and I was given a chance, so I want to thank the Lord for everything.
“I’m also thankful to the players at my club, Perpignan, for giving me the opportunity to further my career. But it was not about me as an individual, it was about teamwork. I was often switching wings with Josh Tuisova to see what worked best.”
Fiji showed their intention early on when young hooker Mesulame Dolokoto made the first line break of the game, sidestepping his marker and making 30 metres of ground.
Sau ‘The Sledghammer’ then dotted down his first try in the fifth minute when he found himself on the end of a well-worked move from left to right that included an offload from Leone Nakarawa and some crisp passing from halfback Henry Senololi. Five minutes later from a line-out set play, fullback Metuisela Talebula skipped through to score after Ben Volavola had cut through the line and slipped in a pass.
Coach John McKee, smiling a lot more this week, pointed to how much improved the combinations were compared with last week’s difficult defeat in Edinburgh.
“Two weeks into the tour and you can see our combinations and game plan coming together,” he said.
“We’re much better than last week. It’s very pleasing the way we went on with the game today, we didn’t really move away from our basic game – carrying directly, getting through the line then playing to our speed.
“I’m happy that we played out the 80 minutes and were continually pressuring the opposition.
At half-time, we made a couple of changes to give some players rest and we lost a little bit of rhythm early in the second half. But give some credit to Uruguay, they would have been hurting going into the sheds at half-time down 35-7.”
Fiji complete its tour this week in Paris against France which beat Australia 28-13.