PNC –teams are geared up for the must win games.
Battles of the Pacific and Japanese pride are all on the line in two piping hot test matches in Apia today.
Apia has turned on perfect weather for the second round of the PNC and all teams are desperate to win in Apia and head towards the trophy.
This week has seen all weather conditions and a variety of tactical approaches by the 4 national coaches. Firstly the good old weather has pelted Apia with rain, then turned around and delivered blazing hot sun. Depending on what time teams have trained this week, they have had very different sessions. Fiji has been in monsoon style rain, puddles galore and their natural passing game was changed to tight and safe on the practice field.
Japan went into rest mode this week, they have had the luxury of being in camp for over 60 days so far, coach John Kirwan said “After 60 days the boys get a bit sick of chucking the boots on, so we have decided to freshen them up this week, they have the base fitness and we want to relax the minds”. They did have a light captains run last evening, and they are a treat to watch. The drills and execution of skills is phenomenal, with a bit of luck the Japanese will unleash a bit of their potential against Samoa.
Tonga luckily had a bit of sunshine for their sessions, funnily enough though they are praying for rain. The upfront confrontation is what they desire and built like they are it is easy to see why. Isitola Maka was not a happy man at yesterdays hit out, he let his troops know it too. They all have the huge amount of respect for their coach, it is pretty certain they will come out firing today against neighbours Fiji.
The hosts Samoa have had a dream week in preparation; ample time together balanced with fitness and family time, this has them ripe for performance. They look hungry, they look big and they want to make their people proud with their match today.
The matches on the menu today are:
Fiji vs Tonga at 1.10pm Samoa Time. (1.10am GMT)
Samoa vs Japan 3.40pm Samoa Time. (3.40am GMT)