- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By ANASILINI RATUVA and ANA MADIGIBULI
After the 29-17 win against Tonga yesterday, Flying Fijians Head coach Inoke Male said the team could have done better in the last match of the Pacific Nations Cup.
Male said they could have scored more than four tries at Churchill Park in Lautoka.
He was not happy with the performance in the first half since they had ample opportunities. But the boys managed to make amends in the second half.
“We could have scored more, done better,” Male said.
He said they had a lot of faith in their 7s players which was why they had mobilised them during the second half.
Flying Fijians captain Setefano Somoca said he was pleased with his team passing the test.
“We put in a lot of effort in winning and it means a lot for us including the fans and supporters who came in numbers,” Somoca said.
“I am proud to have led this team today and to be able to prove that we can do it right here at home.
The Flying Fijians took second spot in the 2012 Pacific Nations Cup tournament after the win yesterday.
The first half was scrappy as both teams committed a lot of elementary mistakes.
Fiji dominated the first four minutes of play as they penetrated the Tongan defence seeing Josefa Domolailai miss his first opportunity. There was no continuity from both the sides as defence started to build up and more scrums were seen in the first 14 minutes.
Tongans had the advantage in the scrum with the likes of their experience reps Viliame Longi and Siale Piutau.
The Fijian supporters erupted in the 19th minute when fullback Isimeli Koniferedi set up a try after ripping the ball from Kisi Pulu and allowed Metuisela Talebula to score.
The Inoke Male coached side started to create blunders in the remaining minutes of the first half that allowed Tonga Kurt Morath to convert three penalties at half time. Halftime: Tonga 9 Fiji 7
Tonga opened up the scoreboard in the second half with wing Alaska Taufa scoring their first try of the match but was not converted by Morath.
The Fijian fans erupted as the black and white brigade started to build up pressure in the second half.
The changes made by Head Coach Inoke Male allowed the game to open up. This resulted in Jerry Naureure scoring the second try and were converted by Ralulu. Morath converts another penalty for Tonga after Fiji was penalised with offside.
But Talebula sealed the fate for the Tongans to score his second try.
Maikeli Mocetadra had the last say scoring Fiji’s fourth which was converted by Talebula who also kicked a penalty to seal the win.
Full time Fiji 29 Tonga 17
Tonga interim coach Chris Hickey said they counted the chicks before it hatched.
“It was a really good game of rugby, the crowd really enjoyed themselves, I’m happy with effort of the Tongan boys,”he said.
“There were few opportunities but we failed to take those chances.
“We also want to acknowledge the Tongan supporters who came out in numbers to support the players
“I couldn’t ask anything more from the players.”