The Fiji Times

Tagi ready

Fijians brace for Wallabies battle

- By RODNEY DUTHIE in France

EXPECT the Wallabies to attack the FIJI Water Flying Fijians at the set-pieces to disrupt their counter-attacking play.

That’s the indication given by Australia’s head coach Eddie Jones as he prepares his team to take on Fiji at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in St Etienne on Monday.

But big Fiji burly loosehead prop Luke Tagi, who was named in Simon Raiwalui’s statting XV, says they are up for the challenge if Jones and the Wallabies decide to take that route.

During a press conference to announce his team in France on Friday, Jones said the only way to beat Fiji is to dominate upfront and keeping the ball.

“They’ve got, as we know, a brilliant ability to play counter-attacking rugby. They’ve got pace and they’ve got precision and that puts a different test to you,” Jones said.

“They’re a team of power, they’ve got pace and they showed that in the last 10 minutes against Wales.

“When you play against Fiji you would always like to have a set-piece advantage and we started the tournament off well in that area, so that’s an area we would like to keep growing in.

“Then our ability to win those power contests and then as the game goes transition­al to be two steps ahead of Fiji, who are a good side in that area.

“The power contest will be interestin­g, they’ve got a very big pack but we want to take them on in that area.”

During a press conference in Bordeaux, Tagi said they were looking forward to the battle.

“I think it’s gonna be a physical match and I’m looking forward to it,” said Tagi, who stood out as one of the top players for Fiji against Wales last week.

“The boys have prepared well for this game because it’s a do or die match for us.

“The battle upfront will be a big one and I am looking forward to it.”

AHECTIC day with a missed train stop that ended in Paris. That is how I sum up my day 7 in France. An early morning rush to the team training followed packing the suitcase for a check out at the apartment started the day in Bordeaux.

Following the team announceme­nt after midday, I made my way to the train station with veteran FBC sports editor Akuila Cama for our trip to St Etienne.

We were placed in different carriages on the bullet train — I was in the one ahead of Akuila.

What I thought wDaiasrgyo­ing to be a smooth ride ended up in a nightmare (so to speak).

I was not aware that our stop was in Massy By as I set comfortabl­y in the Rodney seat. I was only Duthie awoken from my day dreaming when Akuila asked where I was when the train started moving for the next stop. I knew I missed the stop.

I asked a gentleman in front of me whether he spoke English and he signalled to me that he spoke a little. I showed him my boarding pass and he started pointing behind me. Well I be!

I got off in Paris and luckily they provided me with a connecting train in Lyon, which was my initial second stop. But before boarding for Lyon, I just had to step foot outside for a selfie or two. LOL

I arrived in Lyon a little after 11pm and the next available train to St Etienne was at 6am.

Determined to reach my destinatio­n and meet up with Akuila, I rushed to the bus station in time for the last trip to St Etienne.

There were only four of us for the one-hour trip. I arrived at the hotel after midnight.

It was just a little bit more drama in France. Today is Saturday here and the team will have its final training run before facing Australia.

Until my next adventure (hope I don’t end up in Spain or Mars), ni sa moce mada.

 ?? Picture: TRYSPORTIM­AGES ?? Luke Tagi of Fiji attacks against Wales at Bordeaux Metropole Stadium, France last Monday.
Picture: TRYSPORTIM­AGES Luke Tagi of Fiji attacks against Wales at Bordeaux Metropole Stadium, France last Monday.
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