Fiji winger Filimone Delasau’s scything runs opened up the gaps in the Canadian defence to inspire Fiji to attack and win 29-16 in their second match in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in Cardiff on Saturday (Sunday morning Fiji Time).
The fleet-footed Ba speedster who awed crowds in his debut for Fiji in the abbreviated code in the IRB Sevens series in the late 90s regained some of his magic in scoring a try and setting up another in the win.
Even though the Canadians have themselves to blame for their loss, Fiji has improved from their match against Japan and would be setting up an exciting encounter against the Australian in Montpellier at 2.30pm on Sunday afternoon (2.30am Monday Fiji Time).
The forwards have improved their drives in the rucks and mauls; and defence has been tested to the maximum with the tenacious attacks by Japan and Canada.
Tighthead prop Jone Railomo played well challenging the Canadian front row for the first three quarters of the match before Henry Qiodravu ended the encounter in the last quarter.
The pairing of Kele Leawere and Ifereimi Rawaqa in the locks against Canada has opened up a new ray of hope that Fiji has what it takes to mtach the bigger teams in the pool Australia and Wales.
Akapusi Qera who scored a brace against Japan in the opening match failed to take advantage of a sure try after going on his own with players lined up outside him who could have easily helped him.
Outside half Nicky Little played a grand game but Fiji Rugby Blog thinks the Australian match would be an opportune time to bring out some unpredictable elements in Waisea Luveniyali at flyhalf and Jone Daunivucu at the base of the scrum.
The team could sure use new centre pairing with Kameli Ratuvou and Maleli Kuvore with Norman Ligairi reverting to his more comfortable fullback slot.
Canada: 15 Mike Pyke, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Craig Culpan, 12 Dave Spicer, 11 James Pritchard, 10 Ryan Smith, 9 Morgan Williams (c), 8 Sean-Michael Stephen, 7 Dave Biddle, 6 Jamie Cudmore, 5 Mike James, 4 Mike Burak, 3 Jon Thiel, 2 Pat Riordan, 1 Rod Snow
Replacements: 16 Aaron Carpenter, 17 Dan Pletch, 18 Mike Pletch, 19 Luke Tait, 20 Colin Yukes, 21 Ed Fairhurst, 22 Ander Monro
Fiji: 15 Kameli Ratuvou, 14 Vilimoni Delasau, 13 Seru Rabeni, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Isoa Neivua, 10 Nicky Little, 9 Mosese Rauluni (c), 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Semisi Naevo, 5 Ifereimi Rawaqa, 4 Kele Leawere, 3 Jone Railomo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Graham Dewes
Replacements: 16 Vereniki Sauturaga, 17 Henry Qiodravu, 18 Netani Talei, 19 Jone Qovu, 20 Jone Daunivucu, 21 Maleli Kunavore, 22 Norman Ligairi
Referee: Tony Spreadbury
Touch judges: Christophe Berdos, Mark Lawrence
Television match official: Craig Joubert
Caption: Fiji fullback Kameli Ratuvou scores his first try against Canada