Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun


Fijians Impress: Ryan

Fijians Impress: Ryan
Crusaders led by Jone Macilai with fans on May 19, 2017 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Photo: Ronald Kumar
May 20
11:00 2017

Crusaders assistant coach Jason Ryan was impressed with Fijian duo Setareki Tamanivalu and Manasa Mataele’s performances in their 31-24 victory over the Gallagher Chiefs at the ANZ Stadium last night.

“I thought Seta carried the ball hard, he was sensational,” Ryan said.

“Manasa is just 19 years old, he always plays like he’s older, he’s powerful, he plays like Waisake Naholo.

“He came off the bench and was sensational.”

The Crusaders trailed 13-17 in the first half but regrouped and seized control in the second half.

“We really made sure to execute well in the second half. We lost opportunities and gave them a few from our poor kicking game. But in the second half we gained strength we took the opportunity and we hang on in there,” Ryan added.

He said they planned to shut down Chiefs key player in fullback Damian McKenzie.

“He was elusive but we made sure to shut him down.

“The support for the Crusaders here is sensational. This started years back when Marika Vunibaka and then Nemani Nadolo were playing for the Crusaders. We are proud of the support and we love the Fijian people,” Ryan added.

It was also an emotional moment for Mataele who won his first Super Rugby game at home.

“I’m very emotional and excited to play and win in front of my families, relatives and friends.

“At halftime our captain reminded us about our roles and we need to perform our level best,” Mataele said.

Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett said the main message in the pack was defence.

“We talked about defending our mauls,  we were under pressure in the first half but we managed to play our game and put them under pressure in the second half,” Crockett said.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie applauded their attacking game.

“I thought we attacked well in the first half but we gave away some soft points,” Rennie said.

Edited by Osea Bola




Related Articles