Against all odds


Now that Fiji has tasted the sweet feeling of overcoming a giant nation . . . why not going another step further.

Skipper Mosese Rauluni has publicly declared Fiji is seriously looking at going for broke against the Springboks and has led the charge into the fray with confidence and vigour.

“This is probably one of the greatest victories Fiji has ever had,” Rauluni said.

“We set a goal before we started to get into top eight.

“But we’ve said to the boys the job’s not over – we’ve got other things to strive for.”

But the one downside to Fiji’s day was the sight of fly-half Little, who kicked 18 points, being stretchered off in extra-time with what looked like a serious knee injury.

“He’s been taken to hospital and we will assess the medical report later,” said Tabua.

The practical Gau warrior said the team will have to put in another 80 minute effort.

“It’s a big challenge,” he said of facing the Boks, adding that it will require another monumental 80-minute effort.

“Our boys did that against Wales and came up with the goods. Some other Fijian teams in the past probably would have lost that game. I’m so proud of the boys for the way they fought up until the 81st minute.”

Rauluni acknowledged that South Africa will be overwhelming favourites, but said they are determined to turn the form book on its head.

“Anything’s possible,” he said.

“Tonga showed it is possible when they took them to the wire, so the general feeling is why can’t we?

Fiji coach Ilie Tabua issued what has become one of the World Cup tournaments most common refrains, saying it was vital that teams from the smaller rugby playing nations be given greater exposure to top-class competitions between World Cups.

“It [the win against Wales] shows that the Tier Two nations can compete, given there is more competition with the level one [teams], not only here at the World Cup,” Tabua, a former Wallaby loose forward, said.

Like his captain Tabua admitted that beating the Boks will be a tall order, but he felt his team was up for another big challenge.

“The Springboks are always going to be tough,” Tabua said.

“I think any Tier One [team] is always going to be targeting us in the forwards. They did it to Samoa, they did it to Tonga and it’s obvious that they are going to control the game that way.”

Caption: Fiji celebrates after defeating Wales. Photo: Planet Rugby

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