SPORTS

Torrid Time Tipped As Old Rivals Tussle

Fans should expect nothing less than another physical battle at the ANZ Stadium today kickoff at 3pm. It’s always torrid and sometimes a brutal affair when the traditional neighbours Fiji
11 Jun 2016 12:06
Torrid Time Tipped As Old Rivals Tussle
The final Vodafone Flying Fijian squad. Standing from left: Nemia Soqeta, Leeroy Atalifo, Samisoni Viriviri, Savenaca Tabakanalagi, Dan Koroi, Vereniki Goneva, Leone Nakarawa, Eremasi Radrodro, Naulia Dawai, Peni Ravai, Tevita Cavubati. Kneeling: Benito Masilevu, Malakai Ravulo, Nemia Kenatale, Adriu Delai,Captain Sunia Koto, Viliame Veikoso, Patrick Osoborne, Henry Seniloli and Campese Ma'afu. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI.

Fans should expect nothing less than another physical battle at the ANZ Stadium today kickoff at 3pm.

It’s always torrid and sometimes a brutal affair when the traditional neighbours Fiji and Tonga clash.

The rules of the game have changed but the do-or-die for king and country is still very much part and parcel of the game since the two island rugby powers played their first game at Teufaiva Park in Nuku’alofa on August 15, 1924.

Vodafone Flying Fijians vice-captain Leone Nakarawa and Tongan rugby captain Nili Latu promised entertaining and physical rugby in the opening round of the Pacific Nations Cup today.

“The game against Tonga will not be easy as was always the case,” Nakarawa said.

“It’s always physical and we love playing for our countries. We’re all prepared and our objectives are the same and that is to win.

“But we Fijians have set a standard and we need to lift our performance in 2016. We achieved a lot of positives at the 2015 RWC but that is history now.

“This is a different year and important one as well as this a qualifier for the 2019 RWC.

“We have some new forwards joining the pack, but that’s not an excuse because we need to lift our play to a standard.

“We are proud of playing our rugby, we are happy people and we need to play that way.

“We need to show the world who we really are and thank God for the wonderful talent he has given us.”

Latu said they have youngest squad in the PNC with three players making their debut for the ‘Ikale Tahi’ today.

“Every year we go through the same schedule, it’s going to be a big game for both teams.

“So nothing has change but we have a goal this year and that is trying to qualify for the next RWC.

“We know the Flying Fijians are very strong but we’ve prepared for the best.”

 

Five Key Points

  1. New pairing of Campese Ma’afu and Leeroy Atalifo and Sunia Koto should front up against Eddie Aholelei, Sione Faletau and Elvis Taione.
  2. Nakarawa and Tevita Cavubati should dominate the lineouts.
  3. The inside centre pairing of Seremaia Bai and Vereniki Goneva should provide the attacking force for the backline.
  4. While the focus would be on Highlanders wing Patrick Osborne, but watch out for the elusive Adriu Delai
  5. Big test for Samisoni Viriviri on his debut today. Edited by Leone Cabenatabua
Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: