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Work Still In Progress

Work Still In Progress
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians halfback Frank Lomani (9) goes for the ball against Itlay at Stadio Angelo Massimino in Catania, Sicily in Italy on November 12, 2017. Photo: Italy Rugby
November 13
11:00 2017

We failed in Catania and we need to bounce back in Dublin

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians failed to extend their dominance over Italy on foreign shores when they went down 19-10 in Catania, Sicily yesterday.

The Fijians were more on the defensive mode and failed to straighten their attacking moves.

This saw them backpedalling for most part of the match and once they got things going poor handling saw them lose momentum.

Head coach John McKee said they knew Italy would use the scrum and also their lineout to get to them.

However, looking at this weekend’s clash against Ireland and followed by Canada, McKee says, they need to lift their performance as this is a crucial step in the team’s progress towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“I think it’s really important for us to improve our game and to build each assembly that we have and looking at the long game towards 2019 we need to make the most of every assembly we have to build our game,” McKee told RNZI.

“We’re at a little bit of a disadvantage because our players are spread all around the world and we don’t play as many test matches as some of our opposition.”

The Flying Fijians are ranked ninth in the world after retaining the Pacific Nations Cup title in July and missed the opportunity of displacing France into eighth spot if they had beaten Italy.

The Flying Fijians scored their points in the first half through a Ben Volavola penalty followed by try from lock Leone Nakarawa right on halftime as they held Italy 10-10 at the interval.


  1. Campese Ma’afu- Scrum well and made a few good tackles: 5
  2. Tuapati Talemaitoga- No improvement in his lineout throws as they lost 6 of their throw-ins: 3
  3. Manasa Saulo- Strong in the scrum but gave away a few penalties: 5
  4. Api Ratuniyarawa- Good with general play but does not have that impact: 5
  5. Leone Nakarawa- Jumped well in the line-outs and showed his class: 7
  6. Semi Kunatani- Played well but should be given more game time: 6
  7. Akapusi Qera- Started well but lost the sting towards the end: 5.5
  8. Nemani Nagusa- Tackled well but need to vary his game: 5
  9. Frank Lomani- Failed to control his pack and still need time to develop: 4
  10. Ben Volavola- Had an off day. Got a yellow card for silly play: 3
  11. Timoci Nagusa: Tried hard but would have done better at fullback: 5
  12. Jale Vatubua: Fumbled the ball a few times and failed to straighten their backline moves: 4
  13. Asaeli Tikoirotuma: Apart from a high tackle did not do much: 4.5
  14. Josua Tuisova: Gave his best, unfortunate not to have scored a try: 5
  15. Kini Murimurivalu: Had no impact from the back: 4


  1. Sunia Koto- Failed to connect his line-out throws: 3
  2. Peni Ravai- Penalised several times for collapsing the scrums: 2
  3. Ropate Rinakama- Held his own in the scrum despite making his debut: 4
  4. Sikeli Nabou- Fitted in well and looks promising: 3.5
  5. Mosese Voka- Quick to the breakdowns and defended well: 4.5
  6. Henry Seniloli- Provided that vital link with the forwards and backs: 4.5
  7. Levani Botia- Need to be considered for the starting line-up: 4
  8. Vereniki Goneva: N/A


Edited by Grace Narayan




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