After four years of being groomed in the pocket of intense pressure, coach John McKee is beginning to see the fruits of nurturing and belief in fly-half Ben Volavola in the dismantling of the strong Georgians with a 45-10 scoreline yesterday in their third match of the Rugby World Cup.
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While Pool A is regarded as a pool of death with marquee sides England, Australia and Wales battling for the two play-off spots, fourth-seeded Fiji see only a “pool of opportunity”.
They believe they can muscle their way into a quarter-final slot, and even if they do fall short they aim to finish in the top three of the pool to be guaranteed a berth at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
In their quest to end Samoa’s three-year rugby dominance, the Vodafone Flying Fijians will be making some changes to the team that defeated Tonga last week in this weekend’s PNC encounter against their Pacific rugby rival.
Fiji last defeated Samoa 36-18 at the 2011 PNC in Suva before Samoa dominated the show for the following three years defeating Fiji 27-7 at the 2011 RWC, 29-26 at the 2012 PNC in Japan and 18-13 in Suva last year.
Head coach John McKee said his team needed to lift their defensive game to counter the fiery Samoans.
“This will be another hard physical battle,” he said.