Sunvoice

Show Up On Saturday For Our Flying Fijians

The Maori All Blacks come around once in a while and we should be fortunate that they have agreed to assist in our Rugby World Cup build-ups.
08 Jul 2019 14:36
Show Up On Saturday For Our Flying Fijians
Maori All Blacks

Editorial:

Coach John McKee and the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians need the support of fans as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup in Japan with kick off 74 days away.

It’s the least fans can do to help in the campaign.

It comes once every four years and the RWC somewhat measures where we stand in the world of rugby.

While many will not make it to the Land of the Rising Sun for the global showpiece, they can watch an equally-entertaining showdown against the Maori All Blacks at the ANZ Stadium this Saturday.

The Maori All Blacks come around once in a while and we should be fortunate that they have agreed to assist in our Rugby World Cup build-ups.

This is a must-see test match and a perfect opportunity for Maori and Fijian rugby fans to celebrate their identities.

Since they first met and drew 3-3 at Albert Park, Suva, the teams have met 29 times with Maori All Blacks winning 20, losing 7 and drawing 2.

The last time they played at the ANZ Stadium was in 2015. Watched by Maori King Tuheitia, the team staged a dramatic fightback to win 27-26 after trailing 10-26 at halftime.

New Zealand Rugby board chairwoman Dr Farah Palmer said: “Pitting the Maori All Blacks against a Flying Fijians side on a mission for RWC and with passionate supporters behind both teams, will be the perfect formula to create an epic encounter.”

Of the six build-up matches, the Flying Fijians will play the Maori All Blacks again in Rotorua next week, Japan in Kamaishi on July 27, Canada and Samoa on August 3 and 10 respectively at the ANZ  Stadium in Suva.

They will round off preparations against Tonga in the Pasifika Challenge II at Eden Park, Auckland, on August 31.

In true rugby spirit, the Nadroga Rugby Union has agreed to host the third Farebrother Trophy challenge against Suva at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, on Friday.

This is to allow fans to travel to Suva to watch the Fiji-Maori All Blacks showdown.

A good crowd turned up at Prince Charles Park, Nadi, on Saturday to watch the Farebrother Trophy second challenge won by Nadroga, 20-3.

A good crowd also turned up during the Super Rugby clash between the Crusaders and Chiefs at the ANZ Stadium, Suva last month.

Now it’s time to do it for our Flying Fijians.

Team captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu was blindside flanker and played a good defensive game when the team came up just short four years ago.

Our best result to date was the 9-9 draw at Eden Park, Auckland, in 1970.

And fans need to show up and support our men to make it happen.

Feedbackoseab@fijisun.com.fj

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