SPORTS

‘Use Fijian Flair’

Former professional dual-rugby international and former Wallaby,  Lote Tuqiri believes the Vodafone Flying Fijians can beat Australia in their Rugby World Cup clash on Thursday. The Namatakula, Nadroga born winger
22 Sep 2015 10:10
‘Use Fijian Flair’
Fijian Tevita Kuridrani (left), and Israel Folau are among the seven Australians who will debut in the Rugby World Cup in the United Kingdom. Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has named a srong line-up to face the Vodafone Flying Fijians on Thursday in Cardiff, Wales. Report on page 31. Photo: Sportingfile.com

Former professional dual-rugby international and former Wallaby,  Lote Tuqiri believes the Vodafone Flying Fijians can beat Australia in their Rugby World Cup clash on Thursday.

The Namatakula, Nadroga born winger had 67 caps for Australia and was part of the Wallabies’ RWC squad in 2003 and 2007.

He said the Flying Fijians should stick to the ‘Fijian flair’ of running rugby instead of trying to match the Wallabies upfront.

In rugby league he played nine matches for the Kangaroos, four for the Vodafone Fiji Bati and played for six times for Queensland in the National Rrugby League (NRL)  State of Origin.

“We should play to our strength. If we play to our strength, we will do well.

“The Fiji teams in the past have sort of struggled in the set-piece, scrum and lineout,” Tuqiri said.

“In the Northern Hemisphere, the game is more conducive to how they play and the pitches and the grounds will be more suited to the Welsh or the English style of game.”

Only three players in the current Vodafone Flying Fijian squad know what it’s like to play against Australia in the biggest stage of rugby including skipper Akapusi Qera, loose forward Netani Talei and inside centre Gabirieli Lovobalavu.

Tuqiri believes Wallaby head coach Michael Cheika will be tactical in naming his team against the Fijians on Thursday.

“I think it’s a stepping stone game for Australia,” Tuquri said.

“It’s a game where the Wallabies will not pick their number one team because they’ve got about three games to play. Most of their players at the moment are injury free and they’ve got a good coach. I guess the first 23 players can keep them on the field and I think they’ll give it a shake.”

The last time Fiji met the Wallabies was in Canberra, Australia on June 5, 2010 where the hosts comfortably won 49-3. Tuapati Talemaitoga, Campese Ma’afu, Viliame Veikoso, Malakai Ravulo and Nemani Nadolo were part of that squad.

Tuqiri helped the Wallabies thrashed Fiji 49 – 0 in Perth in 2007.

“It was weird and different and I felt a bit off playing against Fiji that night.”

He also wore the green and gold number 11 jumper when they beat Fiji 52-12 in Pool B of the 2007 RWC in France.

His opposition was Isoa Neivua of Nadraoga. He scored a try in that match.

Fiji plays Australia at 3.45am on Thursday.

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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