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RWC 2019: Was there a ‘Plan B’?

It’s hard to accept the 39-21 loss after so much expectations. Now it’s all water under the bridge especially if they are to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive.
22 Sep 2019 11:00
RWC 2019: Was there a ‘Plan B’?

Life goes on! Yes, we didn’t get the result we had wanted at the Rugby World Cup opener against Australia, last night.

But that’s not the end of the road for the Dominiko Waqaniburotu captained- side.

It’s hard to accept the 39-21 loss after so much expectations. Now it’s all water under the bridge especially if they are to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive.

Despite being a short turnaround, the Uruguay game is a must-win clash for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians.

One of the crucial lessons learnt from last night, is the need for head coach John McKee to have a Plan B in place when things are not working our way.

Everything was going well in the first half until Peceli Yato and Viliame Mata came off injured. The reshuffle in the backrow saw Mosese Voka man the openside flanker’s berth while lock Leone Nakarawa was moved to No.8. This was where they lost the momentum in the scrums and set pieces. The frustration showed on Nakarawa as time and again he lost the ball forward. It was not the Nakarawa, we all know. He had played a few games for Racing 92 at No.8 but was moved back to lock. If there was really a ‘Plan B’, then this would not have happened?

From the Match 23, the only player who could play at flanker was second five eight Levani Botia. He played regularly in that position for his La Rochelle club during the Top 14 comp in France

If Botia was moved to openside flanker then Nakarawa could have stayed at lock while Voka falls back to No.8.

Then they would have moved the backs around as they have utility players like Alivereti Veitokani and Nikola Matawalu on the reserves. This would have enabled the Flying Fijians to keep on the momentum and the outcome could have been interesting.

As they move on from here they should always have a Plan B to avoid being caught with their pants down.

Yato, Mata in limbo

The future of Yato and Mata at the RWC could be decided today. Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor confirmed last night that both players would be undergoing medical assessment this morning.

“Yato suffered concussion while Mata had a muscle injury,” he added.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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