Fiji Sports

U20 selection criteria unfair, says Toakula

Written By : MACIU MALO . Jo Toakula says there is no excuse for Fiji’s downfall in Wales yesterday. The national U20 side got thumped by England 41-17 in their
07 Jun 2008 12:00

image Written By : MACIU MALO . Jo Toakula says there is no excuse for Fiji’s downfall in Wales yesterday.
The national U20 side got thumped by England 41-17 in their first pool game and Coach Rayne Simpson said his boys were anxious against a Tier One nation like England.
He said it was a game of two halves where the Fijians registered all their 17 points in the second spell against a Tier One rugby nation like England.
But Toakula says the side is also in the Tier One rugby nations and there is no excuse for the loss.
“Last year I coached the Fiji U20 team in Ireland and we were ranked as Tier One side alongside England and Australia.” “Even last year we narrowly lost16-24 to Australia which fielded many Super 14 players. “The core of that Australian team is the one that thrashed Fiji in Australia a week ago.” The former Highlanders coach said the U20 coaching panel should utilize their strengths and weaknesses of the opposition teams. “They should use a pattern to counter the opposition weakness and basically Fiji should play to their strength and that is speed.”
“And most importantly they should play their natural game.”
“But to blame the loss on the Tier One nation teams and the experienced players playing in other teams is not acceptable.”Toakula has also lashed out at the selection criteria made before selecting the final team for the JWC.
“There was no proper trials held as you can see that majority of the players in that team are the core of my U19 team while some are also secondary school players.”
“This is not a secondary school championship, it is the Junior World Championship where all rugby players below the age of 20 are allowed to play and not only secondary school players.”
“The U20 trials should be held at various provinces before selecting the final team and a good example of this is Flying Fijians winger Timoci Naqusa.
“Naqusa is 20 years old and he should be in the team. It shows that there are many like Naqusa who are left out for selection because the selection criteria were not carried out properly.”
Fiji is yet to play Australia and Canada in their remaining pool matches.



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