Poor Show Dis­ap­points Coach

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The Voda­fone Fly­ing Fi­jians need to lift their game if they are to stand a chance against Eng­land in Twick­en­ham this Satur­day. The Aka­pusi Qera cap­tained­side were de­mol­ished by the Bar­bar­ians 40-7 un­der heavy ground con­di­tions at the Kingspan Sta­dium in Belfast, Noth­ern Ire­land, yes­ter­day. Fly­ing Fi­jians head coach John McKee was dis­ap­pointed with the team’s per­for­mance as they failed to ex­e­cute what they had planned to do. The Fly­ing Fi­jians had no struc­ture in their play and their set piece was in dis­ar­ray. These were cou­pled with poor han­dling, fee­ble tack­les and wrong op­tions be­ing taken at cru­cial times of the game.


The Andy El­lis-cap­tained Bar­bar­ians stamped their mark right from the open­ing whis­tle and it only took them 25 min­utes to score 28 points. From a rolling maul, Lions hooker Akker van der Merwe scored the first try in the sec­ond minute of play, which was con­verted from wide out by first five eight Robert du Preez. Then in the 5th minute a poor clear­ance kick by Ben Volavola was charged down by Bar­bar­ians No.8 Luke White­lock and the ball was spun out wide to winger Matt Fad­des to score in the corner, which was con­verted by du Preez as they rode to a 14-0 lead. In the 18th minute burly Fi­jian­born Bar­bar­ian winger Taqele Nai­yar­a­voro ran over Waisea Nay­a­calevu and Do­miniko Waqaniburotu be­fore slip­ping a pass to El­lis who set-up van der Merwe to score his sec­ond try, which was con­verted, 21-0. The Bar­bar­ians kept mak­ing in­roads in the Fi­jian de­fence with their big men Sam Carter, Jor­dan Tau­fua, White­lock, Michael Fa­tialofa and Ben Franks lead­ing the charge. This paid div­i­dend in the 25th minute when El­lis scored an easy try be­side the post, which again was con­verted leav­ing the scores at 28-0.

The Fly­ing Fi­jians started the sec­ond half strongly and hooker Jale Sassen lost the ball right on the try­line as it was ripped away by Carter. Sassen later fum­bled the ball twice and was re­placed by vet­eran Su­nia Koro. Then in the 53rd minute Volavola came off the field while Nemia Ke­na­tale came in at half­back as Seru­pe­peli Vu­larika moved to first five eight. The move sparked the Fi­jians as they kept on the pres­sure a re­verse pass from Manasa Saulo saw Qera on the clear but was brought down short of the try­line with Nay­a­calevu fol­low­ing up closely to pick up the loose ball and score a try. Ne­mani Nadolo coverted it as they trailed 28-7. Poor han­dling marred many of Fiji’s promis­ing moves and the Bar­bar­ians were able to launch their counter at­tacks. In the 74th minute Richard Mou’nga ran in Bar­bar­ians fifth try, which was con­verted as they ex­tended the lead 35-7. And right on the dy­ing min­utes of the match, Luke Mo­ra­han was at hand with a try to leave the fi­nal scores at 40-7.

Scor­ers: For Bar­bar­ians: Tries: Van der Merwe 2, Fad­des, El­lis, Mo’unga, Mo­ra­han Cons: Du Preez 5

For Fiji: Try: Nay­a­calevu Con: Nadolo

Match Of­fi­cials

Ref­eree: Nick Bri­ant (New Zealand) As­sis­tant Ref­er­ees: Ge­orge Clancy (Ire­land), David Wilkin­son (Ire­land) TMO: Neil Paterson (Scot­land) Edited by Osea Bola

Photo: Ian Muir

Lock Api Ratu­ni­yarawa leads the charge as Bar­bar­ians No.8 Luke White­lock closes in yes­ter­day.

Photo: Ian Muir

Voda­fone Fly­ing Fi­jians cen­tre Asaeli Tikoiro­tuma, right, ready to tackle Bar­bar­ians Richard Buck­man yes­ter­day.

Voda­fone Fly­ing Fi­jians half­back Seru­pe­peli Vu­larika takes on the Bar­bar­ians de­fence yes­ter­day. Photo: Ian Muir

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