Fiji Celebrate 100 years of Rugby

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Fiji Celebrate 100 years of Rugby Empty Fiji Celebrate 100 years of Rugby

Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 11:21 am

I thought the best way of celebrating the centenary of Fiji rugby would be to recall their best moments.

My first memory of watching Fiji is getting up in the small hours of NZ in Hong Kong playing sevens. Little Serevi was a magician and is the greatest player to play the game. I loved watching how he would nonchalantly take a kick at goal, cruise and then turn on the gas with a single step. When I was younger I actually lived in Fiji for six months at different times. My father worked in the Lautoka Pine Plantation and little things come back to me. Some good and some not so good. Climbing a mango tree and being stung by red army ants was an example of the latter but hearing the singing in the church and having my hair ruffled by everyone because I was blonde and different examples of the latter. But going to fields and watching these guys run in heat and seeing the power and pace but most of all their love of the game and their love of running the ball from all parts of the field had a big effect on me. I saw the test side in the flesh for the first time in the 87 World Cup where they would later give France a good run for their money. I was in awe of their size and pace. They all seemed to play with a free spirit and just wanted to run with the ball. Their outside backs appeared to be as tall as their forwards until you realised that they were the forwards running out in the backs, looping passes with one hand over the heads of the tackling players.

A game where they were crushed in the end stood out for me in the opening exchanges of the 2003 RWC match against France. That was when Caucau was in his prime and didn't resemble a giant glazed donut. The try he scored on the left wing made my jaw gape wide open. I wasn't surprised as I'd seen him score phenomenal tries for the Auckland Blues but this was a World Cup and he made everyone look foolish trying to stop him. The path to that World Cup was probably their notable achievement. They lost to both Samoa and Tonga and needed to beat Tonga on home soil by more than 20 points and did so with 7 points to spare in Nadi.

They have beaten Australia twice in the 1950s, but their most important victory came on the biggest world stage in the 2007 World Cup against Wales. I know it's asking a lot (I could wax lyrical about the French side in the 99 defeat of the ABs but 2007 would be a stretch other than marvelling at their defence and in particular Dusatoir!) but I'd love some of the Welsh fans to give their impressions of that match.

Fiji is still performing very well in sevens but it's been a while since they performed well in the Pacific Cup or on the international stage. I think taking a leaf out of Manu Samoa and Tonga's book would do them a world of good. They lack a set piece structure and in world rugby you can't compete with the top tier teams without a solid set piece. They need to integrate a more traditional structure into their unique brand of running rugby. I'm not sure what their schedule is in their anniversary year but I'd love NZ to be involved in a home game in their centenary year. Fiji hold a special sentimental value for me and I wish them all the very best for the next 100 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUSb9_oRK9o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnFItPHZSss












Last edited by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 11:22 am

Any recollections of your team playing Fiji would be welcome.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 12:29 pm

Look at the pickup from the Fijian fullback and hear the Aussie commentators go wild (the Falcon at the end was the icing on the cake): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaNLy3rJBEw

Filmed with a potato but what a try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qW1RlXOLfQ

Serevi magic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEtuR9TmFOU

The pace from Vunibaka for the first try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnquvMhrwzU Run

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 2:23 pm

Horrendous music and quality but not from the Fijians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_LZSG6YjN8

Top 10 Nalaga tries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7CgfzJMVIs

Top Rupenicaucau tries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H5HHy4BTXE

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 2:29 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4drus-YRQg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIIeCOUwOLA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LH2WGA6Mvk

Best played with the sound off.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sat 20 Apr 2013, 2:31 pm

Actually this song is quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_W94QAn5_A













When you mute it. Doh The hit on Tialata at 2:57 makes up for it though.

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Post by aucklandlaurie on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 9:42 am


Rupeni is back up in North Auckland and is going to play ITM Cup.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa on Sun 21 Apr 2013, 9:55 am

Good to hear Laurie. Hopefully he regains some fitness and contributes more to Fiji test rugby. Lord knows they could do with some help at the moment.

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