SPORTS

Satala: My Top 6

Satala believes Leone Nakarawa, captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Frank Lomani, Waisea Nayacalevu, Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra are likely starters against Australia in Sapporo, Japan, on Saturday.
17 Sep 2019 11:21
Satala: My Top 6
Viliame Satala.

Legendary Flying Fijians centre Viliame Satala has named six players who will be able to create something magical at the Rugby World Cup 2019.

Satala believes Leone Nakarawa, captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Frank Lomani, Waisea Nayacalevu, Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra are likely starters against Australia in Sapporo, Japan, on Saturday.

Named as the world’s best centre during the 1999 RWC, Satala said: “These players are my key players in the team.

“They are world class players and they will create something out of nothing. They’ve got the experience and have been consistent while playing for their clubs right through to the World Cup.

“These players are unstoppable.”

Satala, dubbed the ‘Stretcher’ during his days with Top 14 rugby, said the Flying Fijians must fight to the last whistle, if they wanted to beat the Australian Wallabies.

“This is the game of their lives and the players must fight for it. I say it’s a war for God and country,” Satala said.

He called on the players to give it their all for Fiji when they run onto the field at the Sapporo Dome.

“It’s like a war, where all guns are firing and you will run straight at it, knowing that you will die for Fiji no matter what happens,” he said.

“When you’re there remember you are fighting for your country, province, village and family.

“The emotion that you have knowing that you’re happy to represent everyone and the fact that you are going to fight for your country.”

Satala also feels this is an opportunity for the Flying Fijians to make history for themselves and their family.

“It’s an emotional experience to be part of the World Cup. For me personally, if the boys beat Australia, we will reach the final. If we beat them we will dominate in our pool.

“We beat the Wallabies I don’t think Uruguay, Georgia or Wales can match us.”

The Namoli, Lautoka, native has called on the players to approach the game with a positive mind-set knowing that the RWC was a different ball game.

“It is very different from the tournaments that we normally play, the Pacific Nations Cup, NRC and club commitments. The World Cup is something else the environment and atmosphere is different the boys need to lift their games to another level.

“It’s a big game against Australia and the first game is always important because the results determine our performance through the entire tournament.”

Satala said the Flying Fijians have a good chance of beating Australia after watching Samoa take them to the wire.

“The boys should be very well prepared. They should be prepared mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

“It all depends on the team now. The coach has set and done everything. The game plan is there and the only thing now is how the players approach the game individually on how they’ll execute the game plan, come the day. The whole world will be watching this game.”

He is confident that coach John McKee has prepared the side well.

“This is a good team because it is dominated by overseas players that brings experience and add depth. This is McKee’s second World Cup so he has been preparing the team from the last world cup and I believe that this team will do better,” said Satala.

He feels the centres must organise their defence, tackle hard and keep on communicating with each other.

“Our strength is defence and we have what it takes when it comes to attack. The backs and the whole team should all work together to defend against the structured play the Wallabies have,” he said.

“It will depend on how our forwards will provide clean balls for the backs, if the forwards don’t do their job then it’s no use having world class centres and wingers who can finish the job.”

Compared to 2015, Satala said the players should be aware of how they play because the referees would be using video referees and observe things like tackles, coming from the side during rucks and professional fouls.

“We should control our temper because the Wallabies will want to use it against us so we got to calm down when this happens. Our boys should have patience, take the game easy at the same time seize the opportunities that they come across,” he said.

The Fiji-Wallabies match kicks off on Saturday at 4.45pm(Fiji time).

Feedback : leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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