SPORTS

McKee: I’m Satisfied

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee is satisfied with the 24-22 win over Samoa in their Pacific Na­tions Cup opener at the ANZ Sta­dium, Suva yesterday. “I’m pleased
10 Jun 2018 11:36
McKee: I’m Satisfied
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians hooker Tuapati Talemaitoga bursts through Samoan halfback Metani Matavao’s tackle with Api Ratuniyarawa (left) at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on June 9, 2018. Fiji won 24-22 and scored four tries to secure a bonus point. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee is satisfied with the 24-22 win over Samoa in their Pacific Na­tions Cup opener at the ANZ Sta­dium, Suva yesterday.

“I’m pleased with the win, at half time I thought we could have been more decisive but it’s always dif­ficult this time at the June series when players come back from their clubs,” he said.

The Fijians scored four tries for a bonus point win.

What happened: Scrappy start from Fiji saw centre Jale Vatubua sinned-binned in the opening min­ute for a dangerous tackle. Samoa capitalised on it and strengthened their attack and got the first points through a Tusi Pisi penalty.

The Fijians hit back with string of passes that saw Vereniki Goneva break through the Samoan defence and passed the ball to fullback Kini Murimurivalu to dot down the first try.

Indiscipline started to creep in Fi­ji’s play and captain, Akapusi Qera was sin-binned for another danger­ous tackle.

Samoa dominated play as they put the Fijians defending their tryline but they could not score.

But it was Flying Fijians first five eight Ben Volavola, who dived over for the second try after slicing his way through the Samoan defensive line.

The hosts maintained the pres­sure and a show of class by Goneva saw him create a gap for halfback Henry Seniloli to squeeze through for the third try with Volavola adding the extras.

Halftime: Fiji 17-3 Samoa.

At the restart, it was Goneva who ran through the Samoan defence for the fourth try with Volavola’s conversion going over.

This woke up the Samoans as they struck back with two quick tries to nippy halfback Metani Mata­vao and flanker Jack Lam with the conversions from fullback Ah See Tuala.

The Fijians got their third yellow card after replacement prop Eroni Mawi was panalised for foul play. With five minutes to play Samoa scored their third try to Dwayne Polotaivao and was converted by Tuala.

Big Play: The heavier Flying Fi­jians forwards took control most part of the match.

Star Turn: Volavola’s try came at the right time when the Flying Fijians were under extreme pres­sure as the Samoans had the upper hand.

Comments; Fiji Airways head coach John McKee said; “From the three yellow cards, two was in the tackling area,

“I thought maybe we were un­lucky on the ball defence but credit to Samoa as they put us under pres­sure.”

Samoa head coach Titimaea Tafua: “The game was good, we made mistakes but we will learn from it for the next game.

“It’s good for us especially build­ing up to the Rugby World Cup qualifiers.”

Point scorers: Flying Fijians 24 (Tries: Murimurivalu, Volavola, Seniloli, Goneva. Cons: Volavola (2)

Samoa 22 (Tries: Matavao, Lam, Polotaivao; Con: Tuala (2), Pen: Pisi)

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: