RWC Diary Day 28 - Netani
26 September, 2011
|Netani Talei (far right) and members of the Flying Fijians line up for the Fiji National Anthem. |
There was a three hour bus ride this morning as the team were taken from from Auckland and back to where, on 6 September, they officially started their Rugby World Cup journey in the Port City of Tauranga – New Zealand’s largest port in terms of gross export tonnage.
Sunny skies and more agreeable temperatures (though still cold) greeted the Flying Fijians in Tauranga where the team will remain until Saturday before travelling across to Hamilton for Sunday’s final pool match against Wales.
One of the real characters within the team is 28 year old Tavualevu Villager Netani Talei. In a team that boasts a fine compliment of loose forwards the Scotland based player came into his own on Sunday putting in a strong game against the Samoans despite Fiji’s overall performance.
“I tried to focus on my game so that I could give an input to the team, I could have done a lot of things better and at the end of the day we didn’t get the result,” Talei said.
“A lot of the boys are down at the moment, especially myself, we weren’t happy with the result but we have to get over it.”
Always quick to give encouragement Talei, who was also a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup squad, has been urging his team mates to learn from the loss as they look forward to the Welsh match.
“I told some of the boys today - what doesn’t break you makes you stronger,” Talei said, adding “there’s going to be a lot of talk and negative things flying around but just try and overcome that and put it into a positive perspective and make it a positive part of your game this weekend.”
And like everyone else here Talei is also fully aware of the weight of expectation upon the team and has this message for Fiji Rugby fans.
“We just need your support, please still have faith in us that the job will be done this weekend, you know the boys are confident enough that we’ll regroup and try and make the country proud.” Click here to view the full interview with Netani Talei.
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 26 - Alfred Uluinayau RWC Diary Day 27 - A second loss