SPORTS

Rugby World Cup: Time To Slay The Red Dragon

We have our rugby future to defend, time to breathe life and douse the Red Dragon fire on Wednesday
05 Oct 2019 16:41
Rugby World Cup: Time To Slay The Red Dragon
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians inside centre Waisea Nayacalevu and replacement prop Veremalua Vugakoto moments before they ran onto the field at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium on October 3, 2019, to face Georgia. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji

Analysis:

Whether it’s our genetic make-up or other factors, our rugby performance tends to blow hot and cold at times.

We excelled in one and played poorly in the very next one. We made the world take notice but slumped at the very next match. Whether we are overawed by the occasion, wrongly energised or lacking the mental edge, coaches and those in authority struggled to find the reasoning behind it. Unfortunately, this continues to be the case over the years.

Coaches at the World Sevens Series, Rugby Sevens World Cup and Women Sevens Series can bear testament to this. Ask former 7s coach Ben Ryan and he would gladly admit that the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics was won off rather than on the field.

A case in point was when the Englishman could not believe what he saw when one of his players had eight scrambled eggs for breakfast at the 2013 World Sevens Series in Dubai. But with strict training regimen, monitored food intake and scientific analysis to match. It proved to be a winner in the end.

Similarly, we hope Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee and his men will rise to the occasion again in Oita next Wednesday after a superlative performance against Georgia on Thursday.

Disposing of the Lelos in such brilliant fashion was a mark of a team with amazing talents in the ranks.

And we need to reload, stay in form and cap off our 2019 Rugby World Cup performance by dousing the Red Dragon fire in our last Pool D encounter against Wales. They too will not take us lightly after we came close to toppling the Wallabies in our first match.

Warren Gatland’s men would like to win to top the pool while we have our future to defend and need to finish in the top three to automatically qualify for the 2023 RWC in France.

We can’t afford another horror show where we hit the headlines for the very wrong reason, going down to Uruguay 27-30 in Kamaishi.

Wales will be a massive test, it’s our last game and we have got nothing to lose but a reputation to defend.

Rugby is the national sport of both countries. But we have the momentum, confidence behind us to go out there and show what we can do.

It’s Fiji’s time to show the world that we can rock one of the giants of the game and make a mark at the 2019 RWC.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedbacksheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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