Fiji Sports | Rugby | SPORTS

Thumbs Up For Botia And Botitu!

The performance of Vilimoni Botitu and Levani Botia against Scotland last Sunday (Fiji time) has impressed Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter.
08 Nov 2022 13:00
Thumbs Up For Botia And Botitu!
Flying Fijians rep Vilimoni Botitu defending against Scotland. Photo: AF

The performance of Vilimoni Botitu and Levani Botia against Scotland last Sunday (Fiji time) has impressed Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter.

While both players play at second five eight, at Murrayfield against the Scots, Botitu was moved to first five eight while Botia manned the openside flanker’s berth.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Cotter said he was happy with Bo­tia’s work rate giving them options on the edge attack.

“For Botitu, he was strong on at­tack and in defence. Also, he gives us longer kicking options,” Cotter said.

This Northern tour is important for the Flying Fijians as they build-up for next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

“We’re lucky to have these three fixtures against Tier One teams as they expose us to things like yellow cards, discipline, fitness, concen­tration and trust the system like set piece,” he added.

One of the disappointing factors for the Flying Fijians’ performance was when Leone Rotuisolia, Vinaya Habosi and Livai Natave copped yellow cards during crucial stages of the match.

Cotter said: “Players need to be aware of the impact it has, make better decisions, listen and stay in the system.”

The Flying Fijians face world ranked number one Ireland this Sunday (Fiji time) at the Aviva Sta­dium in Dublin. The match kicks off at 1am, and will be shown live on Sky Pacific.

Meanwhile, stats recorded by ESPN on our forwards showed that our loose trio, Viliame Mata, Albert Tuisue and Levani Botia along with lock Rotuisolia were impressive when on attack.

Mata recorded Run ®: 14; Metres Run (MR): 70 followed by Tuisue with R:9; MR:30, Botia with R:6; MR: 31: Offload (O):1; Rotuisolia with R:8; MR:11

On defence, it was hooker Sam Matavesi who topped the list with Tackle (T):16, Miss Tackle (MT): 2: Lineouts Won: I6 followed by Botia with T:11, MT:4 and Mata with T:8, MT:1.

Also, making an impact in defence was veteran lock Api Ratuniyarawa who smacked 6 tackles when he came in the second half.

In the backs it was Habosi, Botitu and Waisea Nayacalevu who were very dominant while Sireli Maqala showed flashes of his attacking brilliance when he came in.

On attack, Habosi made R:8; MR:63; Clean Break (CB): 2; De­fenders Beaten (DB): 3, Nayacalevu made R:8; MR:39; CB:1; Offload(O): 1, Seta Tuicuvu- R:4; MR: 36; CB:1, DB:1 and Botitu with R:3, MR:24.

Test debutant Maqala when he came to sub Kini Murimurivalu re­corded R:3, MR: 34, CB:1, DB:1, O:1.

Kalaveti Ravouvou, Botitu, Habosi and Nayacalevu did well in the de­fensive stats. Ravouvou made T:8, MT:2, Botitu had T:7, MT:3, LW:2, Habosi made T:6, MT:1 while Naya­calevu recorded T:6; MT: 2.

 

Story By: Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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