Fiji Sports

Brad fires up reps

Written By : MACIU MALO. Former Flying Fijians coach Brad Johnstone (pictured) believes the national side can beat the New Zealand Maori on Saturday. This was after the national side
08 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : MACIU MALO. Former Flying Fijians coach Brad Johnstone (pictured) believes the national side can beat the New Zealand Maori on Saturday.
This was after the national side dethroned Samoa 34-17 in its first outing since the Rugby World Cup last year.
“If the Fijians improve on their set pieces, I’m confident they can defeat the NZ Maori,” said Johnstone.
“The boys really played well in their first outing and they will get better this weekend and if they don’t kick away possession, I won’t be surprised if the NZ Maori are beaten.
“They are certainly a good bunch of talented boys and if they do their set pieces well they will be unstoppable.”
Against the Samoans, the Fiji scrums were a bit shaky at times but the former All Blacks prop believes the national side can still win.
“At last year’s RWC the Fiji scrums were also shaky but the team did well and won against Wales. But for me their lineouts against Samoa were worse than the scrums and again we can’t fix the problem overnight. They will get better as they go.”
Johnstone said the side played well in the first half but seemed to lose focus in the second half.
“I think maybe the overseas based players are finding it hard to adapt to the heat but definitely they will get better.”
He said one of the contributing factors that could cost Fiji a win is their kicking department.
“There is a need for an improvement in the goal kicking department and we cannot afford to miss conversions and penalty kicks especially against big side like the NZ Maori.”
“To win a game we need to improve on the goal kicking department.”
Stormers blockbusting winger and former Digicel 7s star Sireli Naqelevuki caught the attention of the former All Blacks.
“That new boy in the number 13 jumper was outstanding and he will be a handful for the Maoris this Saturday. Also both the locks and Naevo played really well.”
Fiji plays NZ Maoris on Saturday at Churchill Park in Lautoka.



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