Tabua seeks improvement

Fiji coach Ilie Tabua said his side must improve on their discipline and defence as they prepare for their Pool B showdown against Wales next week, after his side’s 55-12 defeat to Australia on Sunday.

A second-string Fiji side mounted some stiff resistance to Australia in the first half in Montpellier, but they surrendered territorial advantage by giving away a succession of penalties and gave their opponents too much room in the backs.

“We are looking to have more control in the game, we gave away a lot of penalties especially in the line-out in Australia territory and in the scrum as well,” Tabua told Reuters.

“We want to work on our defence too and improve our up front tackling.”

The Islanders did, however, manage to breach the Australian defence on two occasions either side of half-time, winger Isoa Neivua battering his way over the line and flanker Aca Ratuva racing clear after a line-out at the start of the second period.

Tabua said he was pleased with the effort of his players against the double world champions, but said his first choice line-up would be in for an even harder game against Wales.

“I’m very proud of the players we put in,” said Tabua.

“We thought we had a few chances at end of first half to chase the score and I was pleased with the younger players coming through, knowing that we’ve got a tougher game against Wales next week.

“It will be very tough, but we have to beat Wales to be in the quarters which is our goal. We want to start the game well to give us a confidence boost going in.”

Tabua also confirmed that he had called up former Biarritz winger Sereli Bobo to replace the injured Filimone Bolavucu ahead of the Wales match.

Captain Seremaia Bai was confident the team would be able to step up a gear against Wales and make it out of the pool stage for the third time in the World Cup.

“I think after today’s (Sunday) game I was pleased at the way the boys played.

“There were some positive things and we played some good rugby.

“Of course, we need to look at our mistakes and learn from them, but we are confident we’ll be ready for Wales next week.”

 

365 Digital

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