Chilling Dunedin Awaits Our Men

“We were frustrated not to play the other games because of COVID-19 and we will be looking forward to getting together and just kicking on.
06 Jul 2021 14:04
Chilling Dunedin Awaits Our Men
Flying Fijians (from left) High Performance general manager Simon Raiwalui, TV analyst, Josua Vuto, Leone Nakarawa, Simione Kuruvoli, Waisea Nayacalevu, Vern Cotter (head coach), Kini Murimurivalu during the welcoming ceremony in Christchurch by the Fijian community on July 3, 2021.

Our Fiji Airways Flying Fijians will have to brave the cold to be more competitive against the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday.

The weather bureau forecasts the temperature to drop to as low as 8 degrees (Celsius) at Forsyth Barr Stadium

The All Blacks arrived in Dunedin on Sunday while the Vern Cotter-coached side are due in on Thursday.

With the possible return of All Blacks lock forward Brodie Retallick and loose-man Ardie Savea, coach Ian Foster wants game time for his big guns before The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup.

Cotter and his coaching panel of Jason Ryan, Daryl Gibson and Glenn Jackson are confident of putting on a show worthy of a test spectacle on Saturday

The team had their first training run  in Christchurch on Saturday and devising a game plan to suit the condition and our strength.

“The All Blacks will be very hard in the first test match but they will be even harder for the second test.

“So we will need to be able to grow this group by keeping things simple and being together will be the main key to it,” Cotter said.

“We were frustrated not to play the other games because of COVID-19 and we will be looking forward to getting together and just kicking on.

“Our first job is how we can get better and with no bigger test then All Blacks to make sure we a fully focused and concentrating on our jobs,” said Cotter.


Gauge where we stand

Playing the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday should be a perfect gauge on where we stand in the world of rugby.

We need to be realistic on our chances and relish the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of playing the three-time Rugby World Cup champions consecutive Saturdays.

Anything else is secondary including the final outcome and emphasis should be focused more on building for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.



Head coach Vern Cotter was spot on in stressing that we should try and continue where we left off in our 38-24 win over Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup last November.

Despite the setbacks and challenges the onus should be on keeping the momentum and building consistency throughout.


Be realIstic

It’s always positive energy for fans to always bank on our Flying Fijians to do the impossible but simultaneously we should be realistic going against one of the superpowers of the game.

We prepared well and rated our Flying Fijians highly but we fared badly at the 2019 Rugby World Cup even losing to Uruguay under former coach John McKee.

And with limited preparations, we have an experienced pack in camp in Christchurch assisted by an all– Kiwi coaching staff who should be well versed with preparing a team worthy of playing test rugby against the All Blacks.





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