Category Archives: Wallabies

Flying Fijians have landed

bowing georgia

The Flying Fijians acknowledge the crowd after beating Georgia 45-10 at the Hanazono Stadium. Photo: Yahoo

The Flying Fijians have landed back home to a mild reception after a mediocre Rugby World Cup tournament finishing third in their Pool D with Wales topping the five teams.

After fans got hyped up with the big names in the team, a mixed bag of results with warm up matches with the Maori All Blacks and Pacific Nations Cup, there was high hopes and foreboding thoughts simultaneously.

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Georgia, Japan, Pacific Nations Cup, Pool D, Super Rugby, Uruguay, Wallabies

McKee IDs Georgia’s power

manuel ardao, alexander todua

Georgia’s Alexander Todua is brought down by Uruguay’s Manuel Ardao in their pool match on Sunday. Photo: World Rugby

Flying Fijians coach John McKee has identified the strength of the Georgians in their pool D match today at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium which is their only hope of regaining some semblance of dignity after the two losses in as many games at the Rugby World Cup.

“We know Georgia’s strengths and are prepared for a battle around the set pieces and the breakdown” McKee told Fiji Rugby Union.

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fiji, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Georgia, Uruguay, Wales, Wallabies

Fiji shows glimpses of greatness

krvi aus

Peceli Yato and Ben Volavola hold up Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi at Sapporo. Photo: AP

The Flying Fijians played an expansive, flamboyant game in the first half of their opening Rugby World Cup match but bowed out graciously to a better team in the second half.

The cohesiveness of the forwards and backline was sublime forcing the clueless twice world champions to play second fiddle.

The final 21-39 scoreline hardly reflected on the actual action on field activity which saw Fiji still leading the Australians at the end of the third quarter 21-20.

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Australia, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Opinion, Wallabies

Cavubati, Nakarawa to play locks in RWC opener

The pairing of Tevita Cavubati and Leone Nakarawa as locks for the opener against Australia is a foregone conclusion after manning those berths towards the end part of the Pacific Nations Cup and Tonga in the Pasifika challenge in Auckland.

Flying Fijians lock Tevita Cavubati reacts after Fiji scored a try against Wales in the 2015 RWC. Photo: Stuff

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Japan, Opinion, Rugby World Cup, Wallabies, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Wallabies fan? Yes

I was wearing a Wallaby shirt the other day and someone commented; are you a Wallaby fan? To which I replied of course.

The navy blue quality polo shirt with Australian logos and insignia was a gift to me from my younger sister who lives in Melbourne and I enjoy wearing it.

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Filed under Fiji, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, Opinion, Rugby World Cup, Wallabies

Loose forwards need to negate Pocock

The loose forwards to start in a fortnight for the Flying Fijians Rugby World Cup opener have to be carefully selected with the best openside international flanker David Pocock possibly suiting up at the Sapporo Dome.

Muscled pilferer, David Pocock.

Pocock has been named at his favourite openside flanker position in his return after a six-month layoff through a calf injury; to skipper the Wallabies in their last warm up against Samoa on Saturday in Sydney.

Depending on the position he plays, Pocock has to be closely monitored whether he plays his preferred position at number seven or number 8 where he effectively undermined Fiji’s chances in the last Rugby World Cup.

Skipper Dominiko Waqaniburotu who will be opposite Pocock if he plays his normal berth at number 6, has to be doubly alert in the breakdowns where Pocock makes his mark in the first to react and pinch the ball from the carrier.

When given too much time and space, Pocock as he did against the Flying Fijians at the 2015 RWC had a field day in turnover balls which robbed Fiji of control and hard earned possession which they bested the Aussies at 53 percent.

If his counterpart and the whole team keep abreast of the ability of this pilferer, he can be contained and his potential in dominating the game minimised in protecting the ball carrier from the Australians.

An option would be playing Levani Botia at number 6 and moving Waqaniburotu at openside to watch and negate Pocock’s prowess at the breakdowns.

On the opposite number 6 for the Wallabies is incumbent captain Michael Hooper who is not too far behind Pocock in ability and quickness to react in the creation of a breakdown.

Another option is to allow Botia to play a dual role in blindside flanker and inside back intermittently changing with Semi Kunatani or the bigger form of Jale Vatubua who could play number 6 at Wallaby throw-ins at set pieces.

A little variation and unorthodoxy could throw the Aussies off to the Flying Fijians advantage and Kunatani or Vatubua could do with some innovative plays to ignite creativity which naturally breeds energy and enthusiasm.

Flying Fijian skipper Dominiko Waqaniburotu leads Fiji against France at the Stade de France in Paris last November.

The Pocock factor in mauls cost Fiji 12 points in the deficit in the 2015 RWC encounter within five minutes and saw the Wallabies lead 15-3 in the 31st minute at the Millennium Stadium.

If Pocock comes out at Sapporo Dome in a number 8 strip then we will have to pick between Viliame Mata and the stronger Peceli Yato to contain him.

Mata has evidently bulked up after three seasons with Guinness premier for Edinburgh but Yato with a longer service for his Clermont club in the Top 14 has a few years advantage in experience and gym work to match the Australian champion ball hunter.

The Nadroga loosie needs to check his exuberance though, with fiery exchanges which cost the team 10 minutes with 14 players after copping a yellow card after retaliating threw punches at the Tongans in their last warm up at Eden Park.

The Australians who have returned from a 10-day bonding and intensive training in Noumea have prepared well for the rugby showpiece in Japan and will come fired up for their first match on September 21.

It maybe a coincidence but the Pacific rivals clashed on almost the same date four years ago at the Cardiff stadium which saw the Australians defeat Fiji 28-13.

  • FRB will be looking at the different positions for the Flying Fijians in their RWC introduction first match against Australia in the next few posts.

Semi Kunatani in his Yamacia outfit.

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Filed under Fiji, Focus on rwc, Manu Samoa, Personalities, Rugby World Cup, Wallabies

Inside centre Lepani Botia played well against Ikale Tahi Tonga at Eden Park on Saturday.

The combination of Lepani Botia and Semi Radradra in the centres against the Ikale Tahi Tonga on Saturday underlined the importance of selection for the Flying Fijians for each opposition in the coming Rugby World Cup.

The pair stood their ground in controlling the Tongan onslaught and had loads of resilience to turn the tide from defence to attack in the little possession afforded the team which resulted in two quick fire tries in the first half.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2019 · 20:32