The Heat is On: Flying Fijians to Beat Australia

"The Australians kicked well, they did well in the air and with their goal-kicks," he said.
15 Sep 2023 16:09
The Heat is On: Flying Fijians to Beat Australia
From left: Flying Fijians Jiuta Wainiqolo, Iosefo Masi (with ball), Peni Matawalu and Teti Tela. Photo: FRU Media

The pressure is on the Flying Fijians to beat Australia next Monday morning or they are out of Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

That was the message from former All Blacks winger, Jeff Wilson.

“It’s going to be a different level of desperation,” Wilson said during The Breakdown session.

He also indicated that the Flying Fijians’ downfall was their discipline because they gave away penalties, which gave Wales field position and territory.

“By giving away penalties, you’re going to get hurt,” Wilson added. Former All Blacks utility back and Rugby World Cup winner, Mils Muliana, said the Australian Wallabies had gained confidence from their win over Georgia.

“The Australians kicked well, they did well in the air and with their goal-kicks,” he said.

“They know the Fijians are coming.” Flying Fijians head coach Simon Raiwalui, in a press conference, said kicking was not an issue with the side. Assistant coach Darryl Gibson has indicated to the media that they should expect a slightly different Fiji team playing against Australia.

“We’re pretty good at the moment with a strong squad. The indication of that is the quality on the bench.

There’ll be different combinations,” he said.

From the Flying Fijians training runs in Bordeaux, France, the backline is likely to have Jiuta Wainiqolo and Semi Radradra on the wings, with Simione Kuruvoli tipped to start at halfback and Josua Tuisova at second-five eight.

Captain Waisea Nayacalevu would still run at centre along with Ilaisa Droasese at full-back and Teti Tela at No.10.

The front row of Luke Tagi, Eroni Mawi and Sam Matavesi are likely to start as well as locking partners Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta and Isoa Nasilasila. Viliame Mata is set to be at the back of the scrum. Veteran Levani Botia and Lekima Tagitagivalu are possible flankers.



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