The dream team.
The dust has settled after a massive ANZ Pacific Nations Cup battle in Fiji, now we have a look at the dream team from all the 5 nations.
5 teams flew into Fiji with high hopes of a crack at the ANZ Pacific Nations Cup, in the end one team ran away with it and that was the Junior All Blacks. In this journey to the top they were pressed hard by Samoa & again by Tonga in their last matchup, but they bolted in. Some players made a name for themselves & some were in awe of the talent that danced all over the grounds of Fiji.
Now with this game rugby it is more than one man & more focused on a team and a joint result, hence the idea of the best squad came to fruition. In charge of this important selection were 3 people that could put in an honest 2 minutes of international rugby (as long as there was not too much advantage played). The selectors are Indra-Fiji’s leading sports writer, Bruce-a photographer from Fiji and Groomy-an IRB representative based in Australia. Each of these men has a background in rugby, ex players, mainly in their own backyards and hometowns, but each has an eye for talent and more so future talent.
Here is the best of the best 15 from the ANZ Pacific Nations Cup, below will be some selection detail & info on the shinning stars of tomorrows test matches.
1 Cencus Johnson (Samoa) 2 Hika Elliot (JAB) 3 John Schwalger (JAB) 4 Jo Domolailai (Fiji) 5 Tom Donnelly (JAB) 6 Hale T Pole (Tonga) 7 Victor Vito (JAB) 8 Netani Talei (Fiji) 9 Nemia Kenatale (Fiji) 10 James Arlidge (Japan) 11 Hosea Gear (JAB) 12 Seremaia Bai (Fiji) captain 13 Ryan Nicolas (Japan) 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa) 15 Lilo Vungakoto (Tonga)
high impact reserves
16 Sireli Ledua (Fiji) 17 Vereniki Goneva (Fiji) 18 Joseph Vaka (Tonga) 19 Stephen Brett (JAB) 18 Anthony Tuitavake (JAB)
Please click on a link below this story for an image gallery of this squad.
It is hard to believe that you can start a dream team selection by talking of 2 players that warm the reserves bench, but Joseph Vaka of Tonga and Fiji’s Vereniki Goneva are these fine men. Both play a game that anyone would aspire to; both too are destined to be massive stars for their countries in the coming years. Vaka is a huge man, he has roamed the reserves bench in the PRC and got limited game time as well. Once the ANZ Pacific Nations Cup started so did his assault on the big time, playing in the 12 jersey, he also slips into wing & in the last match against the JAB’s he wore the jersey 6 with a grunty display. Next up is Goneva, he has led the Fiji Sevens side from the front & 09 has seen him rise in the 15’s code. He has zest, a timing that sees him snaffle a ball or human in defense, and like a natural master he can read a game. With the ball in hand he always beats a man or 3 and unloads brilliantly for others to get rewards.
Looking at the starting 15, the front row has super strength with a little less agility around the park. But at times Cencus Johnson & Hika Elliot did make cameo bursts, but it is the power play they were selected for as behind them is enough mobility to generate power. The dream pack oozes talent and in the middle of things are Jo Domoolailai and Tom Donnelly, both command the skies and add beef to any ruck and maul. Donnelly directs the tight stuff and Domoolailai also launches raids at the backs with his pace. Cutting loose for this side is an interesting trio, Hale T Pole adds the genuine mongrel-hungry man every side needs, he also constantly lets the opposition know they are in for a tough tackle if they aim his way. In the boot is Netani Talei, he is deceptively quick and powerful, he can burn off backs given half a chance and was a workhorse in all games. Beside him hunting is another sure star, Victor Vito, he has the full skill set and grows in composure in each outing in the 15’s. Who else can re-gather from a kickoff and bolt to the tryline than him? He has wheels, body size and agility to go a long long way in international footy.
Out in the pretty boys we call backs, the 9 jersey belongs to Fiji’s Nemia Kenatale, he is like a kid that has been inside too long and goes wild when given a hint of space. His muscular frame allows him to have a crack through big fellas and outside him would be the cool head of James Arlidge. This fella knows when to hold em & knows when not to, he has a great boot and vision to unload quality ball when the time is right. On his shoulder would be Seremaia Bai (our captain), he is another that has light-years of time to make decisions and he makes them well. He is into the tackles when required and uses the ball well to beat men and create holes all around him. Benefiting from this talent is Ryan Nicolas, the class centre that caused mayhem for all teams Japan played. He is strong, he holds the ball in 2 hands and can release passes after he has committed defense and set up his runners.
The back 3 has a severe potency about them; in the 15 jersey is Lilo Vungakoto and he likes to run. Be it a grubber, a bomb, an anything thrown at him, this guy will gather it and return it with great interest. His eagerness and positivity for running game got him his spot. On the wing attacks are a Samoan and a Kiwi, Sailosi Tagicakibau is from Samoa and he possesses all the goodness, he runs hard and well, he can tackle and is eager as to support any raids. The last name is Hosea Gear, and he for sure has the right gear. His ability to be in the right place is amazing; so too is what he does when he is there, his power and fend get him tries when many men would be bundled into touch. Of all the men on display Hosea was the class act.
Finishing off with the reserves bench is Sireli Ledua, he was the reserve hooker for Fiji, but we give him the nod for this side. He has legs like a mature tree and pace to cause trouble with his beastly body. In the backs Stephen Brett and Anthony Tuitavake leave a heap of experience if the team needed it, but first off the benches would be Vaka and Goneva.
Now this side is a dream, a mighty one that would be wonderful to see formulate a game together. Continuing the dream wouldn’t it be great to see the ANZ Pacific Nations Cup XV have a crack at the Wallabies and All Blacks for their tri-nations warm-ups.