Fiji Sports | Rugby | SPORTS

Don’t Give Up! Let’s Keep The Faith

After 22 days of isolation after testing positive to coronavirus, the Flying Fijians returned in style to wallop Georgia 38-24 in Murrayfield, early Sunday morning. Playing under heavy ground conditions,
07 Dec 2020 14:05
Don’t Give Up! Let’s Keep The Faith
Flying Fijians lock Temo Mayanavanua (top) and Ben Volavola (right) join their team-mates to congratulate winger Nemani Nadolo after scoring one of his three tries against Georgia at Murrayfield in Scotland on December 5, 2020.

After 22 days of isolation after testing positive to coronavirus, the Flying Fijians returned in style to wallop Georgia 38-24 in Murrayfield, early Sunday morning.

Playing under heavy ground conditions, head coach Vern Cotter put on a side that were going to take on the Georgians upfront.

It was the battle of the big men.

But the Semi Radradra captained-side did not disappoint as they stood-up to the test.

Starting Test debutants of tighthead prop Mesake Doge, Temo Mayanavanua and Mesulame Kunavula showed their worth and are going to play a crucial role in our build-up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The future is indeed bright for Fiji Rugby.

Former Fiji Rugby Union chairman Francis Kean said it right that the acquisition of New Zealand-born Vern Cotter was ‘an investment and a coup’ for the country.

With the assistance of his coaching staff of Daryl Gibson, Jason Ryan, Glen Jackson and Richie Gray, we’ve all witnessed the impact they’ve brought to our Flying Fijians in a short span of time.

But again, this is only the start as the best is yet to come.

Go, Fiji, Go

Flying Fijians centre Levani Botia leads the Cibi while behind him are Semi Radradra, Nemani Nadolo, Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Samuela Tawake, Waisea Nayacalevu and Chris Minimbi against Georgia at Murrayfield in Scotland on December 5, 2020. Photo: Autumn Nations Cup

Flying Fijians centre Levani Botia leads the Cibi while behind him are Semi Radradra, Nemani Nadolo, Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Samuela Tawake, Waisea Nayacalevu and Chris Minimbi against Georgia at Murrayfield in Scotland on December 5, 2020. Photo: Autumn Nations Cup

 

PLAYERS RATINGS
1. PENI RAVAI– 6.5
Ravai was always in the thick of things.

He was unlucky not to score a try but still needs to lift his scrummaging if he is to lay his claim on the position.

 

2. SAMUEL MATAVESI – 6
He needs to be spot on with his lineout throws.

An all- rounder as he slipped the final pass to Nemani Nadolo to score his second try.

However, Matavesi was still far from his best probably because he had just recovered from the coronavirus.

 

3. MESAKE DOGE– 7.5
He played like a rampaging bull as he took on the big Georgian forwards.

He ran hard and was superb during the scrums. He’s our tighthead prop for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

 

4. TEVITA RATUVA– 7.5
Ratuva was the main man in the engine room.

He was our man in the lineouts and was involved in most of the forwards moves. Superb with his ball and all tackles.

 

5. TEMO MAYANAVANU– 6.5
May lack experience at this level but put on a gutsy performance.

Temo did what was required of him and is our man for the future

 

6. JOHNNY DYER– 7.5
A solid performer and was always probing the opposition line. Never gave up and scored the second try from a forward move.

 

7. MESULAME KUNAVULA – 8
An unknown quality in fifteens rugby? The Edinburgh forward made two turnovers to his name after the 80.

Hard man to get down and his support play saw him score a try from a Josua Tuisova’s 80-metre burst.

 

8. ALBERT TUISUE – 8.5
Returned to his position after years of playing at lock.

He was ruthless with his stop tackles, quick to the breakdown and winning turnover after turnover.

 

9. FRANK LOMANI– 6.5
The 24-year-old improved on his second half performance.

However, he still needs to work on his defence and ability to make the right decisions during pressure times.

We are yet to see the form Frank Lomani was renowned for during his days with the Fijian Drua

 

10. BEN VOLAVOLA – 7.5
The veteran No.10 controlled the game well and was precise with his grubber kicks with one resulting in Nadolo’s second try.

However, he needs to communicate a lot especially during pressure times.

His only blemish was that poor pass to Tuisova which was way off target and resulted in Georgia’s try.

 

11. NEMANI NADOLO – 9
Came out of semi-retirement to score three tries at international level.

Provided an option to side with his touch finders when the pressure was on them.

Nadolo always provides that sort of inspiration to his team-mates when they are on the field. He deserved the Man of the Match Award.

 

12. LEVANI BOTIA – 7.5
Botia again was always in the thick of things.

His strong runs and defence always unsettled the Georgians. Never gave up as he always gives his all.

 

13. SEMI RADRADRA – 8
His first match to captain the Fijians in a Test was not easy.

Radradra played a controlled game while on attack or in defence.

He was always urging his team-mates on and twice questioned the referee on his decision.

 

14. JOSUA TUISOVA – 8.5
He always gains a lot of yard with ball at hand.

Tuisova scored the third try and set-up Kunavula’s try in the 54th minute after committing three Georgian players.

Took on the high balls but due to the very slippery conditions there were some drop balls.

 

15. KINI MURIMURIVALU– 7
Played a safe game at the back and did whatever was required of him.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.c.om.fj


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