Fiji prepares to face Samoa

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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FEELING THE HEAT: The coach suggested the heat might be a factor for his team from Fiji.

FEELING THE HEAT: The coach suggested the heat might be a factor for his team from Fiji. (Photo: Deidre Tautua – Fanene)

The Flying Fijians Team touched down on the shores of Samoa yesterday morning. 

And by yesterday afternoon, they were holding their first training session at Apia Park.

While the team has already qualified for the Rugby World Cup, they are certainly not resting on their laurels.

In an interview with the Head Coach, John Gregory McKee, he said their preparations are coming on as Samoa is a very strong team.

“We are really happy to be here in Samoa and we had a very hard-fought game against Tonga on the weekend,” he admitted.

“However, we know this game means a lot for us because we want to try and win the Pacific Nations Championship.”

“At the same time, we also know that Samoa is desperate for a Rugby World Cup Qualification so we are expecting a very tough battle.”

“We come here with a certain amount of confidence from the success we have had so far in this campaign but we know it won’t count for anything this Saturday.”

 “There are still improvements to be made after our game against Tonga. We had some chances but our final passes and finishing let us down which meant that we didn’t turn opportunities into points,” he said.

The Head Coach was careful not to talk up Fiji’s chances too much as he commented on the perceived strengths of the locals. 

 “There are other areas where we know Samoa will come out strongly such as in the forwards so our defense will have to be strong.  But also they have got a very good backline so there will be threats all over the park. Therefore our defense is going to have to be very good.” 

He also spoke of  the weather as though it would be an important factor for his team.

“The weather is what it is and it feels very warm today; probably a bit warmer than Fiji and much warmer than Tonga.”

“We are just trying things out today and this week so the boys will be ready for the hot conditions on Saturday.”

“We’ve got a few guys who were a bit knocked about from the game and the travel but but we will just keep monitoring them each day and I expect them to all be around for selection come the weekend.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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