Not underestimated: Wales wary of Fiji's giantkiller reputation

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 9, 2019

It was a shock result that is now the stuff of legends in Fiji, and an ongoing nightmare in Wales where there were instant repercussions, with coach Gareth Jenkins sacked immediately.

Then fly-half Stephen Jones is now Wales assistant coach and has been hammering home the message that they can not afford to ease up.

"You get disappointed with selection but it's about doing your best for the team then".

"It highlighted what Fijian rugby is all about".

They (Fiji) like a frantic and open game.

Fiji round out their round-robin fixtures against Wales and head coach John McKee has made just the one adjustment to the side that started the resounding 45-10 win over Georgia last time out.

Georgia trailing by just 2 points difference pose the largest threat to Fiji's position, should they pull out a miracle performance against Australia in their final match, the Lelos could steal third place on the final whistle.

"Against Australia, first-half we moved some ball quite well but we weren't as clinical as we'd like to be. Irrelevant of the occasion, we just want to get the win mostly", said Jonathan, who will start at outside center. "We have got to make sure from an attacking element when we have got the ball we keep the ball".

Coach Warren Gatland has retained 13 of the starting XV from the side who beat fellow Pool D heavyweights Australia on September 29.

McKee says the Welsh also are renowned for their defensive work rate and strength in the breakdowns, thus Fiji must maintain strong momentum for a full 80 minutes to mount pressure and create scoring opportunities. Saying: 'When I told James he was playing and said well done, he replied: you have finally seen the light, have you? "Psychologically, if you win the group and win your four games, you are up against a team that has lost a game", he said.

Fiji and Wales have played three times at the Rugby World Cup back in the France 2007 as Fiji come out with a historic win qualifying for the quarter finals.

While Tonga's narrow 23-21 loss to Six Nations heavyweights France on Sunday may have raised hopes of an upset among some fans, Waqaniburotu said the players were focused only on their own results.

"We're well aware that we're only halfway through the pool stages", he said.

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