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RFMF Remain Unbeaten After Beating Defiant Japan

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), beat the Japanese Self Defence Force 78-3 in the second round of the International Defence Rugby competition in England. But the drubbing did
14 Oct 2015 08:24
RFMF Remain Unbeaten  After Beating Defiant Japan
Action from the Fiji versus Japan in the IDRC2015. Photo: Phil Tuipelehaki/Facebook

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), beat the Japanese Self Defence Force 78-3 in the second round of the International Defence Rugby competition in England.
But the drubbing did not convey the true story of another intriguing match in the IDRC2015. From quite early on it was clear that Fiji would win the game comfortably as their powerful running finally sapped the strength of Japan’s defence. However, at times the clever attacking lines of Japan, with ball in hand, posed Fiji problems they clearly hadn’t encountered before and they on more than one occasions had to scramble in defence to hold their line intact.

It was Fiji who scored first through blindside flanker Juita Takaba and the try was immediately backed up with a second from their dangerous left wing Sevuloni Lutu.

With fullback Jaoji Dakuvula kicking both conversions, Fiji looked comfortable with a 14-0 lead. However, if the crowd thought that Fiji would immediately stretch away to win the match at a canter, Japan had other ideas. For the next 20 minutes they monopolised possession and attacked Fiji from all angles. Though they managed to breech the first up defence they could not quite capitalise and the pace shown by Fiji to scramble and re-group again demonstrated that they have serious ambitions in IDRC2015.

Having survived the Japan onslaught, it was Fiji who finished the half on top, securing two more tries that also brought them the attacking bonus point. Again it was Takuba and Lutu with the tires with Dakavula landing the single conversion. Halftime and Fiji were in command at 26-0.

At the start of the second -half Fiji paid Japan’s defence the greatest compliment. Having been scythed down with alarming regularity throughout the first 40 minutes, they reverted to a power based game. Repeated pick and drives pummelled the Japan defence and this took its toll as the half progressed. With fatigue came space and Fiji which all Fiji sides have had the ability to exploit. Fullback Dakuvula crossed first in the second-half, followed by Lutu who claimed his hat-trick. Vitau was on the shoulder of fellow centre Driu to keep the scoreboard ticking over even though Fiji had lost influential lock Daveta Koroitakali to the sin bin for repeated team offences at the breakdown.

Whether 14 or 15 men, Fiji made huge inroads to the Japan defence who though as committed as ever could no longer prevent the offloads from the tackle as Fiji built phase upon phase of attacking rugby.

Their man mountain of a winger, Watisoni Radinikuva powered down the right for a try in the corner followed by a burst from flanker, Joeli Lesavua, down the left. A second yellow card for a dangerous tackle by Iseril Ledua couldn’t disrupt their flow as a second try from fullback Dakuvula was matched by a second for Lesavua.

Throughout this Fiji onslaught Japan continued to be terrier like at the breakdown and inventive with ball in hand. However, at 47-0 down they, unusually for them, elected to take the kick at goal from another Fiji penalty. Takenhiko Meguro made no mistake and Japan had the consolation of being on the scoreboard. It was the very least they deserved as they have brought a huge amount to Pool 1.

For Fiji it was another marker laid down as they continue to produce impressive displays. With New Zealand to play on Thursday they are determined to progress to the quarter finals unbeaten. The match should be another cracker at US Portsmouth. IDRC

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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