The Fiji Times
Stats: Fijians dominate
UNUSUAL to many rugby followers, the FIJI Water Flying Fijians continue to dominate the contact areas following the third round of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
This was revealed in stats released by World Rugby earlier this week.
Even though the side is yet to play its third match, it still has the most carries per game at 132 following games against Wales and Australia.
The side is the most dominant at collisions with 45 per game and the third-best success rate with that equaling 50 per cent of their total carries being dominant.
The team has the most rucks (94 per game) with the best retention (96 per cent), but is ranked 15th for speed (4.27s) in clearing the ball.
Fiji is one of only two teams to still have 100 per cent scrum success, Italy is the other.
The side is second overall with very good discipline, giving away eight penalties on average and particularly organised in defence.
Fiji’s contact coach Senirusi Seruvakula put it down to a new generation of Fijian players with a professional approach.
“This is the new generation of Flying Fijians, and the message is made clear to them of what is expected,” Seruvakula said.
“What we do in training is what we do out there on the field. And discipline is one of the key areas, and as you can see a lot of our players are playing in top-level rugby here in France, England, and the Drua playing Super
Rugby. So that’s all the contributing factors toward the improvement of our breakdown and our collisions.
“Everyone knows their role out there. This has been a long time waiting for the Flying Fijians, this is the new generation and they want to go out there and showcase their talent. There will be a lot of changes to what the (past) result is showing for us in this World Cup.”
Fiji flanker Albert Tuisue put the dominant display down to hard work from the players and staff members and years of practice.
“I think it comes from working together as a group. You can see that there has been a big improvement over the past few years until now — our scrums have been dominant and steady,” the Kadavu man said.
“And we must thank Graham (Dewes, scrum coach) for bringing in more techniques on the scrum.”
Former Fiji test forward Manasa Saulo, who anchored our scrums for a number of years, said players had proven their selection in the team.
“They have been selected by Simon (Raiwalui) and they have big boots to fill. They have proven so much; many people had doubts about them, but they know what to do during game time and we just have to trust them,” Saulo said.
The side will be tested again on Sunday at 3.45am when they take on Georgia at the Stade de Bordeaux.