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In Good Hands

Vodafone Flying Fijians pivot Josh Matavesi says the team will make an impact in the test against Wales on Sunday. And despite the 15-40 loss to France last week, he
15 Nov 2014 08:05
In Good Hands
Vodafone Flying Fijians flyhalf Josh Matavesi.

Vodafone Flying Fijians pivot Josh Matavesi says the team will make an impact in the test against Wales on Sunday.

And despite the 15-40 loss to France last week, he said critics should not compare the current team to the Samu Domoni coached side which got thumped 60-0 by Wales in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

He said since Vodafone Fiji coach John McKee’s involvement in the team early this year, from a high-performance director to coach, players have noticed a difference in how the team has been managed compared to previous years, one being Josh Matavesi.

“There is no comparison to 2011,” said Matavesi

“I missed the tournament because of injury but watching on television it was clear to see that the players were knackered and they were not enjoying it.

“It was like a military camp. The players were treated like boys but John has come in and he trusts us as professional rugby players.

“We have players who are either based in Europe or who play Super Rugby and we all know what is expected and how to prepare ourselves. There are no excuses.”

Regardless of most of the players having commitments to their other clubs, McKee has almost all the players he needs at the moment at his full disposal.

“There are always issues around release of players for a number of reasons but the World Cup is a massive incentive for players,” McKee said.

“One of two has made themselves unavailable but most here know that they need to do well to be in contention next year.

“We have learned from what happened in 2011.

“I was with Tonga then but watched from afar.

“There was some overtraining and the mix between local and overseas players was not right but we are well down the planning route for next year when we will have the players together long enough to make a difference.”

McKee said they may not have proper preparation time together as a team but they do what they can with the amount of time and available resources they do have.

“People talk about our lack of preparation time but that’s life and we get on with what we have, making the most of it.

“If you are looking over the fence and see the next-door neighbour has the big fancy swimming pool and you have the little pump-up one for the kids you won’t be happy, but if the kids have a lot of fun in that smaller pool that’s fine.”

After the Vodafone Flying Fijians resounding defeat to the French last week, McKee said they have a huge task ahead of them but they have worked on their weaknesses that showed in their last game and have improved on them throughout the week.

“We know we are in for a huge challenge on Sunday but I am confident that the performance will be improved from on last week,” McKee said.

“We have worked on putting the opposition under pressure in defence and working together so as not to get caught out wide as we did last week.

“In attack we will be more patient in building our play and working to breakdown the opposition’s defence system.

The Vodafone Flying Fijians will take on Wales at 3.30am on Sunday at the Millennium Stadium in Wales. The game will be live on Fiji One.

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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