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Rugby World Cup: Four More Years

John McKee must now look elsewhere as the Flying Fijians need a new head coach to take them to the 2023 RWC. We appreciate the work McKee has done, but it’s time to get in somebody who can give us the desired results.
10 Oct 2019 14:33
Rugby World Cup: Four More Years
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians no.8 Viliame Mata on the attack against Wales in Oita, Japan, last night. Fiji lost 17-29. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji

We’re out of the Rugby World Cup!

The 17-29 loss to Wales indicates another four-year wait. We failed to make the RWC quarterfinal in 2011, 2015 and again last night.

Although the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians gave their all at the end of the day they failed to achieve what they set out for them.

John McKee must now look elsewhere as the Flying Fijians need a new head coach to take them to the 2023 RWC. We appreciate the work McKee has done, but it’s time to get in somebody who can give us the desired results.

The Flying Fijians gave their all and even Welsh coach Warren Gatland looked worried after they were trailing 10-0 at the start of the match and 17-14 midway in the second spell.

Let’s take a look at the 5 turning points of the game.

1. YELLOW, YELLOW, YELLOW

The two yellow cards in the first half saw the Flying Fijians lose a 10-0 lead and along with it goes the momentum they were been enjoying.

Lock Tevita Cavubati’s yellow card was sort of a controversial decision while Semi Kunatani’s was an unfortunate one. But that allowed the Welsh to creep back into the game as they dominated the scrums but the superb defence by the Fijians kept their points to a minimum.

2. EVERY POINT COUNTS

We had our chances to increase our points, but we did not convert them. Ben Volavola missed the conversions of Josua Tuisova and Kini Murimurivalu tries while Dan Biggar converted both of their tries for the 14-10 lead at halftime.

Also, the disallowed tries of Frank Lomani and Viliame Mata due to the forward passes. If the Fijians had been a bit more careful with the execution of the passes, the results would have been otherwise.

3. PLAY TO THE LAST WHISTLE

Towards the end of the first half and again in the second, we were struggling. Wrong decisions were made and things just didn’t seem to connect.

For Wales, they showed a lot of resilience. They were able to absorb whatever was dished out at them but managed to hit back much stronger.

This is because the Welsh were much fitter. The Dominiko Waqaniburotu-led side was not fit enough even to play the style of open rugby we are renowned for.

4. RELUCTANCE TO TACKLE

The two Welsh tries late in the second half came from the Fijians reluctance to tackle. Those few seconds of a mix-up on who to tackle first allowed Wales to run through and with their support play and they were able to breach our try line.

5. CENTRE PARTNERSHIP

Injuries to Levani Botia and Waisea Nayacalevu, who were struggling to stay affected the centre partnership. Substitute Jale Vatubua tried his best but did not have the impact Botia had. Nayacalevu switched position with Semi Radradra but was far from his usual best.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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