The recent debut of three Fijians in separate Tier One nation teams has highlighted the fact that the Fiji Rugby Union is sitting on a wealth of resources that if tapped dilligently and frugally will bring dividends in abundance. Continue reading
Category Archives: Samoa
All three Pacific island teams look set to make an early exit from the 2015 Rugby World Cup after mediocre performances for the first three weeks of the competition.
Fiji after being crowned the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup champions in August lost all of their first three matches against England, Australia and Wales before winning their last match against Uruguay.
Census Johnston has been called up to Samoa’s World Cup squad after Leicester’s Logovi’i Mulipola was forced to pull out through injury.
The 34-year-old signed a contract extension at Toulouse before calling time on his international career in April, with reports suggesting he came to the decision in a bid to safeguard his future at the French club.
However, he then changed his mind to play in the historic Test against New Zealand on July 8, when the All Blacks made their first appearance in Samoa.
Fiji sent out a Rugby World Cup warning to their Pool A rivals England, Australia, Wales and Uruguay after a ruthless display of finishing saw them claim the Pacific Nations Cup 2015 title at the expense of rivals Samoa.
Fiji defeated Samoa 39-29 in a thrilling final at the Swangard Stadium in Burnaby to claim their second Pacific Nations Cup crown and head into RWC 2015 full of confidence
Second-rower Leone Nakawara grabbed two of his side’s five tries with the others coming from influential scrum-half Niko Matawalu, Kini Murimurivalu and Akapusi Qera in a see-saw contest that saw Fiji race into a 17-3 lead before being reeled back in by Samoa. But just as the physical Samoans appeared to have taken control of the contest, Fiji came storming back with three quickfire tries that saw them reclaim the initiative and pull clear.
Fiji’s draw against Samoa at Bonney Field in Sacramento last week, on neutral soil, had only minimal impact on the World Rugby rankings with Samoa losing less than a tenth of a rating point and Fiji gaining the same.
This means the two Pacific Island rivals are now separated by only 0.55 points going into the final round of pool matches on Wednesday. Fiji is in tenth position behind Samoa who is ahead in the ninth spot.
The only way Fiji could beat their Pacific Island neighbor in the world rankings is to make it to the finals and beat Samoa in that match that is scheduled for Monday at the Swanguard Stadium in Burnaby, east of Vancouver, British Columbia.
A late penalty from Patrick Faapale gave Samoa a 30-30 draw against Fiji after they battled back in the Pacific Nations Cup.
The game in Sacramento looked to be heading Fiji’s way when they led 27-10, but just as they did against the Maori All Blacks, the Flying Fijians ran out of steam in the second half.
First-half tries from Leone Nakarawa, twice, and Metuisela Talebula gave Fiji a 17-10 lead at the break, with Paul Perez crossing for Samoa.
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.