PRC Final- Fiji Warriors taste victory in Apia
Apia park was basking in sun and talent as the PRC title was decided today, in scintillating fashion the Fiji Warriors stormed home winners 19-7.
In a serious muscle fest the Samoan’s put a one-direction mode into full swing, this direction was straight ahead and the big beasts tucked the ball under their arms and fired forward. Led by the torpedo props and man mountain George Stowers they made early inroads into the Fijian territory.
In the scrum department the big man Stowers was in the boot for Upolu, his extra shunt continually had the Fiji Warriors pack going backwards before they went forward in the backline. This slight detour in reverse saw the Samoan side dominate the early exchanges.
As with a final everyone is scared of making a mistake, with this comes extra kicking and it was a game of force back in the 15-25 minute period. Surprisingly a lot of this kicks found turf not hands, the lottery bounce made for interesting results and there was a lot of frantic running to cover up. In this kicking a pattern emerged and that was the luck of the bounce was slanting Fiji’s way, as the game wore on they capitalized on this to take command of the match.
As the first half drew to an end a frantic period of attack by both teams was launched, one fired all guns at the other and it was matched by superb D. In a grand showing of fitness and commitment turnovers were nabbed and the ball was all of a sudden racing the other way. In true Island styles we saw pulsating runs, passes thrown backwards over heads and caught as if it was a planned move, every player on the pitch was in tune and rugby was sublime. For more than 5 minutes the ball was used at full speed from both sides, amazingly both lines were not crossed and 30 super tired men headed in for the break with absolute empty lungs.
Sunset came and went and all eyes stayed on a dream footy final, the Fiji Warriors upped the pressure and grabbed a great try after a charge down. This propelled the boys to more goodness and soon they were in the try zone again.
The Fijians are known for they flair and speed; today they let the world know they are now a team of solid defence. Their line was treasured and it was desperate D that won for them today. Upolu Samoa threw everything at the Warriors and they just said NO. Samoa prime beef muscle was heading for sure tries and simply denied 5 points, with a passion that came from a very deep place this Fiji Warriors made their try-line a brick wall.
The Samoan’s to their credit never said die, after numerous raids they did score a great try in the 69th minute, the crowd sniffed a come back & the Upolu team hit a new gear hunting more points. In the end the visitors were rock solid and closed up shop to create history with their first title win of the PRC. Today they hit their potential and they thoroughly deserve their silver trophy that flew home to Fiji with them.
Warriors Head Coach Ifereimi Tawake was elated with his team’s performance. “The boys played with their heart & our defence won the game. I am very proud of the boys, they are all locals and I’m especially happy for Illy Tabua.
“This win is important for our RWC2011 preparations and these players are the future. This is great for Fiji rugby, I told them we were leaving our shores to win the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup-and we did’.