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ANALYSIS: Switch On Focus

The Test match against Italy on Saturday should prepare the Vodafone Flying Fijians for the remaining three internationals. After the 37-14 loss to the Wallabies, the Akapusi Qera –captained side
12 Jun 2017 18:14
ANALYSIS: Switch On Focus
Flying Fijians in the bus on their way to Suva last night. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

The Test match against Italy on Saturday should prepare the Vodafone Flying Fijians for the remaining three internationals.

After the 37-14 loss to the Wallabies, the Akapusi Qera –captained side should be in a better battle mode,  ample time to prepare together as a squad with games against Scotland, Tonga and Samoa.

Italy lost to Scotland 34-13 in Singapore over the weekend and aim to better their World Cup ranking with a win in Suva.

Fiji is currently 10th, Italy 15th, Samoa 14th, Tonga 13th and Scotland 5th .

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee wants his men to set the pace against Italy.

“When you look at the rankings and you look at the recent performances, you would think that Italy could be a weaker opposition but I don’t like to say that,” McKee said.

“We’ve really got to concentrate on playing our game. Our challenge this week will be working on a few areas of our game that we know we didn’t execute so well in Melbourne and make sure we rectify that.

“The way Italy play, I believe we’ll have opportunity in the wider channels if we can get the ball there quickly.

“Also, I’d expect Italy to probably kick the ball to us more than Australia does, which will create counterattack opportunities, which can be a point of difference. We look forward to this next game with some confidence.”

Beaten by a more ‘clinical’ Wallabies side, McKee said there was plenty of reason for optimism for his side, with some big stars set to return to their line up in the coming weeks.

Highlanders winger Patrick Osborne will link up with the squad after the Kiwi club takes on the Lions, while mammoth Toulon back Josua Tuisova will also be in Fiji this week after playing in the Top 14 final.

 

Here’s how we rate our Flying Fijians

15, KINI MURMUIVALU-7

Butchered the first try but made up with his attacking game, gained a lot of metres with powerful burst.

 

14: TIMOCI NAQUSA —6

Isolated and struggled to get himself involve due to lack of possessions. Scored a brilliant try when he joined the pack in the pick- and- drive.

 

13- ALBERT VULIVULI—5.5

Hardly got going, played more of a defensive game throughout. Need to make a telling impact in offence.

 

  1. JALE VATUBUA — 5.5

A tick on test debut, more to learn, gain from the inside centre.

 

  1. VERENIKI GONEVA-7

Complete game for the veteran, did what every winger should do. A nose for space, given a sniff and he pounce and eventually score. His deceptive run caught his opposite Henry Speight on the deck. Always will be a valuable utility member of McKee’s outfit.

 

  1. BEN VOLAVOLA-6.5

With limited opportunities, he called the shots to good effect. Defend his space, need to improve his kicking game.

 

  1. NIKOLA MATAWALU— 5

Inconsistency and substandard contribution costly for team going forward. Need to speed up game, keep opposition guessing otherwise they will be more telegraphic on attack.

 

8; AKAPUSI QERA — 6.5

Led by example, good work rate, needs to urge and keep his troops on the ball and lift intensity when chips are down.

 

7: NAULIA DAWAI-5.5

A terrier on defence but team needs more from him.

 

6: DOMINIKO WAQANIBUROTU-6

Tireless in defence, viable option in the lineout, need to up his work rate and ball carry.

 

  1. LEONE NAKARAWA-8.5

Man of the moment, lived up to expectation, offloading at will, in thick of battle in stopping the boring rolling maul. Giant effort, work rate awesome. A big man with real presence.

 

4: TEVITA CAVUBATI- 7

Good ball carrier, outstanding in general play,  valuable member of the ever-important tight-five.

 

3.PENI RAVAI-8

Played for the first time at tight-head and proved his worth. His ball carrying ability exceptional, use his massive frame to good effect.

 

  1. SUNIA KOTO-5.5

Part of a solid scrum, did his best to make it work

 

1, CAMPESE MA’AFU-6.5

Solid effort, rarely has a bad game holding the game upfront.

 

16: TUAPATI TALEMATOGA-5

Good performance.

 

17.JOELI VEITAYAKI-5

Held his own upfront

 

18: KALIVATI TAWAKE-7

Tick on debut for the Suva prop.

 

19 API RATUNIYARAWA-6.

Good impact by the big unit

 

20: VILIAME MATA -6.5

Good game on debut for the Tailevu Olympian.

 

21: NEMANI NAGUSA-6

New No.8 for the future, should be given more game time.

 

22.SERUPEPELI VULARIKA-6

Should have been brought in earlier, speed up the game to suit our running game.

 

  1. BENITO MASILEVU-5.5

Fast becoming a good impact player, runs hard showing little regard for his own physical welfare.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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