RWC Diary Day 27 - A second loss
25 September, 2011
|A packed Eden Park as 60,000 turn out to watch Fiji v Samoa. |
A third Rugby World Cup (RWC) game, a second loss – it hurts. Especially when the team has the ability to play so much better. With the weight of a nation on their shoulders the Flying Fijians struggled with the conditions and the Samoans. In the dressing room after the game there was a stunned silence, words were hard to come by and heads were bowed.
Prior to the game, and during it, the support for Fiji was phenomenal; however it was a day where victory would prove elusive for Fiji – in spite of the pressures to achieve it. For some reason the Flying Fijians showed only brief glimpses of their true worth in a game which was certainly not beyond them.
What happened on the field will no doubt be dissected and revisited by rugby pundits and fans for a while to come and rightfully so, for despite our best endeavours we punched well below our weight today.
However, as a team, the Flying Fijians must look forward to the challenge that Wales will offer next Sunday. While our chances for a quarter-final spot have more or less been buried in the hallowed turf of Eden Park there is still the opportunity to lift ourselves and put away a Welsh team who will no doubt want to avenge their shock exit at the hands of Fiji at RWC 2007.
Against the Welsh the Flying Fijians are left to play for pride and an outside chance of automatic qualification for RWC 2015.
Meanwhile, on the injury front and young flyhalf Waisea Luveniyali joins lock Wame Lewaravu on the sideline after fracturing his leg. Luveniyali is likely to be out of action for up to six weeks.
Just before signing off a big thank you to the Auckland Fijian community who did their very best to lift the spirits of the Flying Fijians with a dinner for the boys after the game. As guests, we may not have been our usual cheerful selves, but as hosts the Auckland Fijian community - like the Wellington Fijian community earlier - were gracious and exemplary.
Until tomorrow, moce mada. View the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 photo gallery.
View video highlights of the Flying Fijians in New Zealand.
Related articles: RWC Diary Day 25 - Eden Park RWC Diary Day 26 - Alfred Uluinayau