SPORTS | Sunvoice

Fans Help Rugby Win, But Real Test In Rotorua

The rematch in Rotorua, New Zealand, will be crucial to the Flying Fijians campaign because it will define their character.
15 Jul 2019 14:34
Fans Help Rugby Win, But Real Test In Rotorua
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians rep Ben Volavola (with ball) on the attack against the Maori All Blacks during the Pacific Test Series at Suva’s ANZ Stadium on July 13, 2019. In support (from left) are Albert Tuisue, Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Frank Lomani. Fiji won 27-10. The Flying Fijians leave today for Rotorua, New Zealand, their second test match against the Maori All Blacks. Photo: Ronald Kumar


Fijian rugby fans made it happen and their show of support on Saturday must be appreciated.

They responded to the call and turned up in full force at Suva’s ANZ Stadium. And they got their money’s worth as the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians delivered a special performance against the Maori All Blacks.

The 27-10 win augurs well for the future as we build up for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and definitely support for our men will be growing as we come close to the September 21 date with the Australian Wallabies at the Sapporo Dome in Japan.

But as the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians start their campaign in style, we need to back them all the way in the remaining five build-up matches.

Already the Fijian community in New Zealand are gathering support while die-hard fans from Australia also are already making travel arrangements to be in Rotorua to lend their support.

The rematch in Rotorua will be crucial to the Flying Fijians campaign because it will define their character. The Maori All Blacks will definitely want to avenge defeat in a special way. They can’t afford another humiliation because a loss at on home turf would be hard to swallow.

Rotorua is the Maori heartland and the battle for supremacy on their turf should be an exciting encounter. This should be a perfect test for the John McKee –coached side against what should be a revamped Maori All Blacks side.

Our last win in New Zealand was in Dunedin 62 years ago and the onus is on the Dominiko Waqaniburotu-captained side to build a legacy and do it again for their fans.

McKee promised he would need to test all the players in the first two matches. The team that played on Saturday proved their worth after a fantastic display. The onus is on the others who will take the field in Rotorua to make a mark and raise their hands for selection.

Fans both here and abroad will eagerly wait in anticipation on the test in Rotorua. Compared to four years ago, we have depth in the squad and a special breed of players who can deliver to expectations and do us proud.

Like Saturday, they will always need the support of their fans to make them tick. The team departs today and we wish them all the best.

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