Narrow escape

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu | Monday, June 19, 2017
BACK in school our English teachers used to ask us to write an essay on the topic "A narrow escape" and many of us would resort to the normal plot of writing about a trip to sea, the boat capsizing and then being saved from the jaws of a shark.
Eroni Vasiteri dives over to score for Fiji against Italy at the ANZ  Stadium on Saturday.  Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU
Eroni Vasiteri dives over to score for Fiji against Italy at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Saturday's match against the Azzurri brought back some of those primary school memories. The boots of Volavola were a jewel in our chest as Fiji salvaged some pride with a narrow three point victory. Volavola did not miss the opportunity of sealing victory for Fiji. When the kick went through, we rose in jubilation and celebrated the win as we maintained our unbeaten run at home.

Italy had the firepower in their forward pack while we relied heavily on our natural flair, elusiveness and speed. The performance by the RFMF band had set the platform for an exciting and tough battle and Vasiteri did exactly that when he opened the scoring in the early phases of the match. The Fijians found it tough to match the opposition's forward drive and Italy piled points through the penalties they received. Vatubua, who played outrageously, proved critics wrong with his powerful barge to the tryline and I tell you Goneva's try was a beauty to watch.

With Fiji playing Scotland, which is on a high after taking the sting out of the Wallabies outfit at home, I am counting on our boys to be more clinical and accurate with their passing. Too many knock-ons and lack of communication marred an error-riddled outing against the younger Italian opposition. Scotland thrashed Italy with a bigger margin and the victory over the Aussies would have given a new breath of life in the visiting team. If we have to take clues from the Brad Johnstone-coached team that defeated Scotland in Suva, then our boys must take ownership of the national jumper. As I conclude, I thank the players and team management for the victory and I am looking forward to Saturday. Bring on Scotland! I am confident of a victory and I know our boys will rise to the occasion!

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