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Wayne Pivac: Fiji will target another Wales upset

Cardiff: He was within minutes of guiding Fiji to a famous Millennium Stadium scalp now Wayne Pivac expects the Pacific Islanders to have another Cardiff upset in their sights this
20 Aug 2015 09:10
Wayne Pivac: Fiji will target another Wales upset

Cardiff: He was within minutes of guiding Fiji to a famous Millennium Stadium scalp now Wayne Pivac expects the Pacific Islanders to have another Cardiff upset in their sights this autumn.

The Scarlets head coach was at the helm of the South Seas entertainers when Wales needed a late drop-goal from Nicky Robinson to snatch a scrappy 11-10 victory 10 years ago.

And as the sides prepare to meet in a crucial World Cup pool clash on October 1, Pivac believes that Fiji will have Warren Gatland’s men firmly in their sights again.

“They played Wales in the autumn without their strongest side and they showed enough for Wales to be concerned.

“History will show they have gone okay in the northern hemisphere in the past — 2007 (World Cup) springs to mind and in 2005, when I coached Fiji, Wales beat us by a late drop-goal at the Millennium Stadium.

“They have always been there or thereabouts.

“Knowing Fiji, there will be certain games that they will target and Wales will be one.”

Fiji’s Pacific Nations Cup success — they beat Samoa 39-29 in the final in Vancouver earlier this month — has lifted them to ninth in the latest World Rugby rankings, meaning there are now four top 10 nations fighting it out in Pool A.

As well as Bath-bound playmaker Matawalu, they possess a potent backline that includes Crusaders star Nemani Nadolo, Stade Francais flyer Waisea Nayacalevu, Clermont powerhouse Napolioni Nalaga, Osprey Josh Matavesi and Aussie-born Ben Volavola, while Glasgow’s off-loading king Leone Nakarawa could be a star of the tournament.

Wales have already heeded the warning signs with head coach Gatland having made a point of stressing the danger that will be posed by Fiji in a pool most see as a three-way shootout between Wales, England and Australia.

South Wales Evening Post

 

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