Tight battle

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu | Saturday, June 17, 2017

Italy and Fiji come head to head after disappointing losses last week in the international Test match season. Italy was battered by Six Nations rival Scotland 34-13 while the Flying Fijians suffered defeat at the hands of third ranked Wallabies 37-14.

While Fiji is laced with experience and speed, Italy has a young squad. Spearheading the Azzurri attack will be former England international and a crucial member of the 2003 RWC winning Rose outfit, Mike Catt, who knows all too well how to stop the Fijian flair.

The Italian forward pack will be out in full force to halt our line of defence and scrum.

Fiji, on the other hand, has an elusive backline. Our scrums, lineouts and set pieces have improved. It is important that the basics be carried out right. There is no need to rush but every ounce of patience will be needed.

Our halfback and flyhalf must be accurate while our forwards will have to dig deep to counter the Italian onslaught.

Discipline will be a key factor because the Italians will be looking at turning penalties into points. Italy will be playing a tight game to contain the Flying Fijians because they are wary of the ability of our players to pounce on lose balls and counter attack.

The Wallabies were able to find holes in our defence that enabled them to score some soft tries. Therefore, we must work on our defence and keep to the fundamentals of our catch and pass.

The reception that our boys have got at home has been heartening and I am sure that fans will turn out in white and in huge numbers to provide the lung power.

Come on Fiji, let's make some noise and let the Italians know that they have landed in the land which belongs to warriors. McKee has named an explosive squad to defend our territory and keep the Azzurri winless away from home.

My plea to the players is to play with pride and humility.

My best wishes to the Flying Fijians. Fiji all the way!

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