ANZ Pacific Nations Cup- Fiji hammered at home.
The Junior All Blacks have charged to the lead and have one hand firmly on the ANZ Pacific Nations Cup after smoking Fiji.
In a matchup that had all Fiji fans mouths watering in anticipation, all lounges and drinking holes were buzzing with the prospect of Fiji beating the star studded NZ team. This chatter will now change to an angle of respect, today in front of 10,000 people the visiting team clicked and simply ran away with it.
It must have started early for the NZ team, when their wheatbix where dished up this morning they decided to tackle them, they continued to tackle like demons for the entire day. Their intentions were simple, they were not overly fancy, but they did all the main things well and were way too classy on the footy field today. Watching them warm up, looking at their muscles and body shape as they run made you fully aware they would be hard to stop today, and they were.
The test kicked off in very muggy conditions, there was a light sprinkle of rain, but this did not dampen the spirit and talent on display. The Junior All Blacks tight 5 were firing early, Victor Vito grabbed opportunities for runs off the fringes and right from word go Fiji was scrambling to contain them. So much so that the first try was a penalty try for infringing in the tackle area.
The Junior All Blacks were up very flat in defence, this caused trouble and this close contact treatment they were dishing out left zero space for Fiji to fly, instead they were the jogging Fijians this afternoon. With such a great chance to use the home advantage and loaded with a great team, Illy Tabua had a scent of victory today, he will be very disappointed leaving with a stale taste of a loss instead.
Sione Lawaki was all pumped up after watching the first half of the match from the hard seat of the reserves bench. The big beast came on and the first two runs he had on Fijian soil were in reverse. Netani Talei was all over him and hunted him for the remainder of the match, this venom unfortunately was left wanting across the Fijian side. Today was one of those days that everything seemed to be hesitant, a half second was used before any forward momentum was attempted & this A grade team in black jerseys was all over them.
The end result was that the Kiwi side were slick, they played with confidence and the most telling part was that every move a man made he had 3 others right on his shoulder in full support. At times pressure did fire at them, but never did they hit the panic button, they just hit the chill button and trusted their talent and teammates to help them mop up.
7 tries to 3 helped see the scoreboard get a work over, and in the end it piled up to 45-17. Fiji showed pride to stop the magic 50 coming up, but sadly they played well below themselves today, they have so much potent rugby in those genes and here’s hoping this game was a one off and they are flying again for the rest of the tournament.