No Excuse for RWC Prep: Raiwalui

Raiwalui, a former Wallabies coaching staff, was happy with what his side delivered against Australia.
20 Sep 2023 13:50
No Excuse for RWC Prep: Raiwalui
Flying Fijians head coach Simon Raiwalui

While there may be vast dif­ferences in resources for Fiji and Australia in pre­paring for the Rugby World Cup, it is not an excuse.

“There is a difference between the developed and developing nations, but we have been very lucky,” Fly­ing Fijians head coach Simon Rai­walui said.

Their electrifying 22-15 win against the Wallabies is keeping their Rugby World Cup run alive.

After 69 years, Fiji has beaten Australia.

Raiwalui says that while they may lack in certain areas like having a team psychologist, they are lucky to have Reverend Joji Rinakama.

“World Rugby has been a great support for us and our sponsors. We have prepared with what we have, the best we can. We may not get the luxuries of the sports psy­chologist, we are lucky to have other things.

“We are able to bring in a rever­end. You talk about mental well-be­ing but our mental well-being is in connection with our religion and people. Our game and campaign is geared towards us being Fijians.

“We always want more resources but we have to make do with what we have. I would take more match­es over resources. The more match­es we get at this level – I’m talking outside of the World Cup – if Fiji can get these tier-one matches more regularly, you’ve seen what these boys can do when they get competition.”

Raiwalui, a former Wallabies coaching staff, was happy with what his side delivered against Australia.

“It was a good game. I think they were two teams who play similar styles. I thought we controlled the ball better, still a few mistakes out there but really proud that the boys to come away with the win,” he said.

“I think the boys wanted to keep us on the edge of our seat. We wanted to continue to play and play to win. I thought the boys were out­standing today. The set-piece was good, carries were good. It was a good win against a very good Aus­tralian team.

“We could have easily got dis­tracted (after losing to Wales) but the boys prepared themselves, the result was a direct relation to the (preparation) the boys put in.”

When asked if the win was a state­ment to be included in the Rugby Championship, Railwalui replied it was about the Rugby World Cup and keeping their chances.

“It’s always about being included in those competitions but today was not about that, today was about winning this game and stay­ing alive in the tournament.

“We have had that mindset from the beginning, if we do things right and prepare right we will be in every match. Yes, we want to be involved in those things moving forward but today is about today.

“If you get consistent results the rewards will come. Other teams are pushing for that as well. If a new tournament comes in, if those matches become available we have our hand up, we are ready.”

Regarding Levani Botia and Josua Tuisova, Raiwalui said: “Le­vani had put in a really good shift so probably time for him to come off but he played really well behind the ball, great defence.

“Tuisova, he’s not a long time back. He came into the tourna­ment, he twisted his ankle early. He was on three weeks recovery, came off the bench last week and this week played really well but he just tweaked that same ankle. Hopeful­ly, it’s not too bad.”


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