Pacific Nations Cup

Vodafone Flying Fijians to improve on weak areas before next match against Samoa

After a gruelling match between Vodafone Flying Fijians and Ikale Tahi Tonga, both teams will be going back to the drawing board to tie up loose ends before their matches next week. Despite Ikale Tahi Tonga putting up a gutsy performance in the first half leading 15-0, the Vodafone Flying Fijians soon caught up and were […]

Salote Qalubau

June 12, 2016 7:47 am

After a gruelling match between Vodafone Flying Fijians and Ikale Tahi Tonga, both teams will be going back to the drawing board to tie up loose ends before their matches next week.

Vodafone Flying Fijians Head Coach John McKee after the match between Tonga yesterday. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)
Vodafone Flying Fijians Head Coach John McKee after the match between Tonga yesterday. (Allison Penjueli/Newswire)

Despite Ikale Tahi Tonga putting up a gutsy performance in the first half leading 15-0, the Vodafone Flying Fijians soon caught up and were able to break past the Tongan side’s defences, dominating the match with 23-18.

Vodafone Flying Fijians Head coach John McKee said the home team lacked combinations in the first half.

McKEE: “We were probably impatient with the ball but if we had held on to our positions a little longer we could have scored some tries in the first half. Also the defence wasn’t that good so Tonga took advantage. Credit goes to the team they really pulled together in the first half. I thought all the new players that came along did really well in a pressure game. It was pretty simple at half time, we just talked about lin-speed and just being patient with the ball.”

McKee said the team would have to review injuries in terms of the line-up of players next week with Samoa.

McKEE: “We expect another tough game next week, it will be a rest day tomorrow (today) and Monday we will be back in training.”

Meanwhile, Ikale Tahi Tonga team skipper Nili Latu said discipline issues was one aspect he hoped to address before their next match against Georgia next week Saturday.

Ikale Tahi Tonga team captain Nili Latu. (Salote Qalubau/Newswire)
Ikale Tahi Tonga team captain Nili Latu. (Salote Qalubau/Newswire)

LATU: “We’re going to re-sit and look at the game, our discipline is something we’ve talked about and it really cost us. Playing the Fijians, they can run the ball from anywhere so they’re a very dangerous team. It wasn’t the result we wanted today but we’re expecting more things to come. We showed them in the first half how we play rugby but at the end of the day, Fiji came out as winners and we take a lot of confidence into next weeks game.”

Team coach Toutai Kefu said he was proud of the Tongan’s performance.

KEFU: “The main thing I was looking for was just effort, that hard work and we got that so I’m happy. My message to the team at half-time was to keep composed and also play with a little more territory. Discipline is definitely something we’ve been working on but I’d have to look at the game again. The ten minutes in the bin really killed us so that’s very disappointing and we could play with a little bit of up-tempo and just work on the line out before our game next week.”

Round two of the Pacific Nations Cup matches will see Ikale Tahi Tonga taking on Georgia at 12.45pm after which Fiji will take on Samoa at 3pm. Both matches will take place at the ANZ Stadium.

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