Uruguay players and fans celebrate after defeating Fiji 27-30 at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium on Wednesday. Photo: World Rugby
The mood in the city of Suva this morning was somber with the grey clouds and rain confirming the feeling of failure and mourning after the Flying Fijians shock 27-30 loss to Uruguay at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium two days ago.
Gone were most of the blue flags which fluttered from over 50 percent of cars heading for work on Wednesday morning.
Flanker Peceli Yato attacks for Fiji in their first pool match against Australia last Saturday. Photo: World Rugby
Fiji needs a miracle to advance to the playoffs of the Rugby World Cup after the shock 27-30 loss to Uruguay yesterday at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.
With the two points gained; one from the four tries scored and the other point by losing by less the seven points; Fiji needs to see the results from the seeded teams; Australia and especially Wales to falter with no bonus points to advance.
Wallaby hooker Tolu Latu receives the Player of the Match award after the Fiji, Wallabies match at the Sapporo Dome. Latu scored two tries through rolling mauls. Photo: World Rugby
Within five minutes the Australians used it in the 2015 Rugby World Cup then on Saturday ditto; scoring two tries by the rolling mauls.
In the 2015 version, champion open-side flanker David Pocock was at the back of the moving mauls scoring in the 26th and 31st minutes, on Saturday it was hooker Tolu Latu scored two in the 56th and 61st minutes.
Alifereti Veitokani lines up a shot for the Flying Fijians. Photo: Getty Images
The 23-member team to face Uruguay need to have a balance of experience and youth to make sure Fiji notches a bonus points win yet have a fresh squad to face Georgia next Thursday.
The Flying Fijians have a few players who did not play against Australia who could be named in the starting 15 for the Los Teros at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium at Kamaishi on the northern area of Honshu.
A question was made by one of the readers of Fiji Rugby Post’s latest post titled “Loose forwards need to negate Pocock” on why incumbent Flying Fijian inside centre Lepani Botia should play as a loose forward.
“Botia has never played flanker for Fiji. Why would they start him there now?” questioned Isaia Lawaniyasana on the Facebook Page Green & Blue Fiji.
“(Peceli) Yato, and (Semi) Kunatani can handle Pocock.”
The Brave Blossoms celebrate after upsetting the Springboks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty Images
Just like the violent tsunami that hit Kamaishi, the aftereffects of the 2011 great Sendai 9.1 earthquake, a Tier 2 nation will win the Japanese Rugby World Cup after the final at the International Stadium in Yokohama on November 2.
Either hosts Japan or Fiji will win the number IX showcase event after Tier One nations New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England dominated proceedings in the past eight tournaments.
Fiji’s flanker Peceli Yato clashes into Australian James Slipper in their match two weeks ago in Cardiff. Photo: SMH
Fiji’s blindside flanker, 22-year-old Peceli Yato, outplayed his opposite number Australian 31-year-old Scott Fardy in all facets of their Rugby World Cup match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
According to World Rugby stats Yato gained 31 metres with the ball in hand compared to Fardy’s 13 metres and in defence Yato scored a 100 percent tackling with four of his attempts compared to 89 percent of Fardy’s with eight attempts.