Fiji eye quarter-final

Fiji have managed to scrape victories against Japan and Canada in the past week of World Cup action but contend that they are serious candidates for a quarter-final place in the tournament.

Coach Ilivasi Tabua firmly believes that his team can do well against both Australia and Wales in its two remaining fixtures.

While the two-time world champions might be a tougher prospect for the islanders, rugby followers can certainly expect a vicious onslaught against Wales in Nantes on September, 29.

“We have nothing to lose in those matches,” Tabua told the AFP on Tuesday.

Regardless of how Fiji won their first two games, the critical factor is that they won. That in itself is added motivation for Fiji to cause an upset.

“For us, winning the first two games was our way of creating a platform for the rest of the tournament. They [the first two games] were always the most important.

“Now we play Australia and Wales and we’ll have to throw the house as well as the sink at them,” added Tabua.

Fijian captain Mosese Rauluni shared the same sentiment.

“It’s a great feeling to have five points and to be in second place in the table,” said Rauluni

The veteran scrum-half admitted that his team’s first victories in the tournament were hardly convincing and that Fiji would need to lift the bar a little higher if it harboured any aspirations of a quarter-final placing.

Fiji were perhaps fortunate to escape with a victory against Canada but Rauluni understands that the lack of discipline against the Wallabies would be punished.

“Against Australia it will be very tough.

“Any little mistakes and they will punish us. We have to work on our discipline and our skills.

“I was a bit disappointed when we gave away penalties in our own half. But I think we learnt a lot from the way we defended in the last 10 minutes,” said the Fijian captain.

Fiji have a week-long break before the formidable challenge against the Wallabies in Montpellier. It will give his players just enough time to recuperate.

If coach Tabua rests his stars against Australia, it will give them 11 days rest before the Welsh game on September 29, which we suspect the Fijians will be targeting.


365 Digital

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