Oceania under 19s- Finals day.
Today is a day 2 young teams can grab some glory in Oceania, one will be the regional champ & the other will be off to the Junior World Trophy.
In the contenders sheets we have Samoa vs Fiji, these 2 are in the gourmet last & main final, the winner will rule Oceania at the under 19 level. Last year Tonga was victorious, but strong outings from the sore losers from last year, has seen Tonga dispatched to a plane home already.
The lead up to the final will be PNG vs Vanuatu, both have wheels to burn and a desire to run at any chance. These sides are lighter than the Fijian’s or Samoan’s, however they have high courage & play this contact game with impact.
If form over the past week has any indication, we can expect the Fiji vs Samoa match to be a bruising matchup. Forward collisions will be common and the need to assert dominance in this area will take the core amount of the 80 minutes.
Both forward packs also have mobility and speed, but they also have a heat seeking need to have a real crack at their opponent’s head on. Luckily for most of these guys they are all built like a truck. There will also be a lot of kicking from the backs, as the big men tire the match should open up nicely and the crowd will see some Island styles full speed.
Vanuatu and PNG play a similar brand of rugby, the PNG players are a bit more hefty and love to tackle, Vanuatu’s strength is in open territory. Against Fiji the Vanuatu side didn’t have the time and space to think, today they should get some more ball and the chance to unwind their talents.
Given the fresh air to express themselves they have the capability to rattle up points real fast. PNG will try to counter them and suck them into the confrontation stuff, if the lean Vanuatu machines can use the ball well to beat the man, then we will see a fascinating tussle.
Apia Park has been under heavy rain the past 2 days, on finals day the blue skies and beating hot sun have graced ocassion. The humidity is high as the dampness comes out of the pitch, but it has softened the hard ground and set the scene for a blinder day of footy. All match reports and photos will be on this site straight after the finals are done.