How To Play Wales: Cotter

Cotter said the Flying Fijians should alternate their power plays with some good kicks down the edges.
08 Nov 2021 12:30
How To Play Wales: Cotter
Veteran Flying Fijians halfback Nikola Matawalu delivers the ball during their Test clash against Spain in Madrid on November 6, 2021. Fiji won 43-13. Matawalu is expected to make the Match 23 squad against Wales this weekend. Photo: Ian Muir

Wales will adopt a strategic approach against us, says Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter.

Speaking to SUNsports, Cotter said this is because Wales have played two tough Test matches- against the All Blacks and South Africa.

The Wayne Pivac coached-Welsh side took South Africa to the wire before bowing out 23-18 in Cardiff yesterday. The Flying Fijians was 13-12 down against Spain before they hit back in the second half to win 43-13.

“They (Wales) will adopt a strategic approach- ball in the air, driven lineouts, double push scrums,” Cotter said.

However, the wily coach believes the Flying Fijians can pressure Wales set piece since they would without inspirational captain and lock Alun Wyn Jones along with flanker Ross Moriarty.

“Alun Wyn Jones is big and he is their lineout caller and the most experienced player in their team.”

Cotter said the Flying Fijians should alternate their power plays with some good kicks down the edges.

“This will counter Wales line speed defence and gives us opportunities to get field position and score points,” he added.

What happened: The Flying Fijians had a slow start as they hosts dominated possession. In the 3rd minute, Spain scored a try through lock Manuel Mora with the conversion from Bautista Guemes going over for a 7-0 lead.

The Fijians were penalised for delaying the ball in the 8th minute and Guemes extended their lead to 10-0.

In the 12th minute the Flying Fijians build-up play as they went through seven phases to get a lineout.

From the set-up Mesulame Kunavula drove over to score the first try with Ben Volavola missing the conversion as they trailed 10-5.

Fiji found their rhythm and started to throw the ball around even from their own tryline.

From broken play, Josua Tusova broke Spain’s defence into two to set-up fullback Setareki Tuivucu who ran 50 metres to score their second try in the 23rd minute with Volavola’s conversion making it 12-10.

In the 33rd minute Tuisova was penalised for not releasing a player in the ruck and  Guemes converted as the hosts regained the lead.

Halftime: Spain 13-12 Fiji

Fiji came out firing in the second half as they started to control the pace of the game.

In the 49th minute Volavola chipped a kick behind the opposition defence and found captain Waisea Nayacalevu who dotted down the third try which was converted by Volavola for a 19-13 lead.

Fiji mounted pressure as they build-up five phases of play that led to the fourth try  scored by Peni Ravai in 56th minute and Volavola added the extras to make it 26-13.

In the 65th minute Volavola threw a cut out pass to winger Aminiasi Tuimaba to score the fifth try in the corner to make it 31-13, with the conversion missing.

Fiji was awarded a penalty in the 68th minute, Volavola kicked for touch setting a set piece for the forwards who controlled the maul before Sam Matavesi crashed over with Volavola’s conversion successful, 38-13.

In the dying stages of the game substitute Masivesi Dakuwaqa ran through two Spanish players to set-up a try for Tuisova as they settled for a 43-13 win.




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