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No Need For Nemani Nadolo To Apologise For Brilliant Fijian Performance Yesterday

Nemani Nadolo should not apologise for the performance of the Flying Fijians. The Flying Fijians played, arguably, one of the greatest games our national team has ever played. The Flying
25 Sep 2015 10:57
No Need For Nemani Nadolo To Apologise For Brilliant Fijian Performance Yesterday

Nemani Nadolo should not apologise for the performance of the Flying Fijians. The Flying Fijians played, arguably, one of the greatest games our national team has ever played.

The Flying Fijians went down 28-13 to the Wallabies but it was the performance of a lifetime. We reduced the Wallabies to a shadow of their former selves during yesterday’s 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match.

Understandably, Nadolo apologized on his Twitter account yesterday, asking fans to bear with them. However, what Fijians fans were treated to yesterday was a national team that would not go down without a fight.

From the very beginning, the odds were stacked against us. Coming out of a torrid encounter with England, there was only a four-day turnaround period. As we witnessed in the match between giant-killer Japan and Scotland, fatigue is a game-killer.  Yesterday, The Brave Blossoms succumbed to Scotland 45-10, after roaring to a 34-32 win over two-time world champions South Africa last Saturday.

There were more than a few people who expected the Flying Fijians to wilt in the same way. Perhaps it was the inspiring words of Fijian special forces’ legend Sekonaia Takavesi, that injected the fighting spirit into our warriors.  Takavesi, forever engraved into the hall of fame for the British Special Air Services (SAS) urged our men not to wait for the Wallabies, but to take the fight to them. Takavesi spent our few moments with the team during the official jersey handover the night before.

Sure, a lot of people wanted the Flying Fijians to win. But the set pieces, in particular, where our front row held their own against the experienced Wallabies was applauded generously by the fans.

If the Wallabies were expecting a walkover party, the Flying Fijians turned out to be party paupers.

In the lead-up during the Pacific Nations Cup, our match fitness was our Achilles heel. The usual strategy for the Flying Fijians was to get out of the blocks, fast, in the first half, pile on the points and then to become more defensive in the second half.

That script was thrown out yesterday. Our men came charging back in the second half and threatened to disrupt the Wallabies chances. Ben Volavola provided some individual magic by scoring a try, with wing Nemani Nadolo kicking the conversation and slotting in two penalties as well.

Injuries are a worry, with livewire half-back Nikola Matawalu and wing Waisea Nayacalevu taken off the field yesterday. However, judging by the overwhelming positive response of Fijians fans, morale remain high.

We still have a slim chance of achieving a quarter-final berth. It’s all mathematical now, with wins and bonus points needed in our remaining matches against Wales and Uruguay.

Until then, our best wishes to head coach John McKee and captain Akapusi Qera and the team. Go Fiji, go.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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