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John McKee Disappointed

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee was disappointed following their first 11-35 loss to England in the 2015 Rugby World Cup opener yesterday. “We came here today with high
20 Sep 2015 09:40
John McKee Disappointed
Nikola Matawalu races towards the tryline. Photo: Ian Muir

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee was disappointed following their first 11-35 loss to England in the 2015 Rugby World Cup opener yesterday.

“We came here today with high ambitions.

“At times we held England under pressure in the game but it was our errors, some critical turnovers that allowed England to come back into the game and stopped us from our critical turnovers,” McKee said.

Captain Akapusi Qera has stated they would need to play till the final minute.

“We were able to compete with England from the start but we still need to finish the game.

“We were expecting that England will come out firing but the boys put up a good performance,” Qera said.

Head coach John McKee and scrum coach Alan Muir’s work with Fiji means they are no longer a soft touch at the scrum, that crucial area in the past where teams have dominated them. No more, on this basis at least.

England kicked the first penalty from the boot of George Ford. England’s maul feature heavily and Fiji had no answers to their efficient drive as it rumbled through the 22, ending with a penalty try, their 100th try under Stuart Lancaster, and a yellow card for Fijian scrum-half Niko Matawalu.

A turnover at the lineout gave England space out wide and Mike Brown held the last tackler before diving over to make it 15-0 lead.

Matawalu returned from the sinned bin and made an instant impact when he seemed to have scored one of the greatest individual World Cup tries.

A blindside burst off the scrum twisted Jonny May inside out and the pacy scrum-half sprinted down the touchline, only to drop the ball as he reached out for the line.

England’s scrum though began to creak, dangerously so in front of their own line as Fiji turned the ball over short of the English line.

Volavola’s cross-field kick put a back-pedalling Anthony Watson up against man mountain Nemani Nadolo. Inevitably, the Crusaders wing won the aerial battle to score Fiji’s first try and make it 15-5.

Ford and crowd favorite Nadolo traded penalties but Ford missed the chance to increase the lead with a strike from a long way out on the angle just before half-time, meaning England were ahead by ten at the interval. Fiji’s aggression at the breakdown earned Nadolo another penalty attempt which he failed.

Volavola resumed the kicking duties and was successful with a penalty to make it 18-11.

Brown, Billy and Mako Vunipola combined through three phases to move England 80 metres up the field to earn a successful penalty kick.

England searched for the bonus point score with Billy Vunipola powered his way just to the line for that crucial bonus point try.

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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