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Vodafone Flying Fijians lock forward Leone Nakarawa juggles the ball over Karmichael Hunt of the Wallabies during the International Test match at AAMI Park on June 10, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Zimbio
June 11
12:00 2017

Coach John McKee calls on fans to support the Flying Fijians

John McKee has pleaded for fans to keep the faith and be at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday to support the Vodafone Flying Fijians against Italy.

The Vodafone Flying Fijians coach said a lot of positives need to be taken on board after the Wallabies cruise to a comfortable 37-14 win at AAMI Park in Melbourne yesterday.

The win was Australia’s 18th from 21 starts against Fiji and they managed to continue their 63-year dominance over the Pacific Island nation.

“I’m definitely disappointed with the scoreline ,”McKee  said from Melbourne yesterday.

“But there were a lot of positives to be taken onboard and Fijians need to back their team, keep the faith and be there at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday to cheer them on.

“We found our momentum in the second half and played well unfortunately it was way too late for us.

“As expected Leone Nakarawa played a more complete game of rugby, battling in the tight, devastating and supportive on the loose. And his trademark offloading skills is wonderful. But perhaps the two players who got my tick are prop forwards Peni Ravai and debutant Kalivati Tawake.

“Ravai played as a tight-head prop for the first time and I’m happy with his all-round performance especially his ball carrying abilities.

“Tawake held his own upfront against the No.3 team in the world and a good ball carrier, definitely a player for the future.”

McKee was happy there was no major injury in the team.

“Apart from minor and niggling injuries , we are all set  and should be reinforced with the arrival of overseas players Levani Botia, Josua Tuisova and Peceli Yato.”

The game was won in the first quarter with Wallabies leading 15-0 in 11 minutes and their quick hand and simple draw and passes kept the Fijians unsettled and on the defensive throughout.

There was no stopping the Wallabies from then on. Just as Fiji managed to generate some front-foot ball and much-needed territory, Folau was shown a yellow card in the 20th minute for a high shot.

Folau’s frustration was almost compounded when the Fijians crossed the line, save for a penalty that went the way of the Australians because captain Michael Hooper was held back in a scrum.

The Wallabies fullback was back to his attacking best, scoring tries in the fourth and 55th minute in Australia’s five tries to two victory.  Fijian wingers Vereniki Goneva and Timoci Nagusa scored for Fiji with conversions from Ben Volavola.

AUSTRALIA 37 (Israel Folau 2, Henry Speight 2, Stephen Moore tries; Bernard Foley 3 conversions; Foley 2 penalties) defeated FIJI 14 (Goneva Vereniki, Timoci Nagusa tries, Ben Volavola 2 conversions) at AAMI Park, Melbourne.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

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