Friday, November 19, 2010

TEST RUGBY: Can Fiji Upset Wales Again?

Fiji v Wales in Cardiff

Venue: Millennium Stadium

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)

If you want a game of rugby worth showing to a newcomer to the game, then the 2007 Rugby World Cup game Fiji 38, Wales 34, in Nantes, would be a good start. What a cracker of a game that was. It had everything.

Can Fiji do the same again? Six players from that famous win in Nantes remain.Domoni has made eight changes to the side that lost to France in the rain last weekend. Two players centre Seru Rabeni and Sale lock Wame Lewaravu could not travel from France to Wales due to visa difficulties. You would think such managerial issues would have been sorted before hand! Unpredictability will be Fiji's main hope. They will struggle to contain a powerful Welsh front five.

Wales has now lost five rugby tests in a row. Warren Gatland might just be feeling a touch nervy at this stage as coach of Wales. A good win is needed by Wales to keep the critics quiet. He has had to make changes to the side that lost to South Africa. Out injured are Shane Williams, Gethin Jenkins, Andy Powell and Sam Warburton. Gatland has selected a number of young players to fill the gaps on the wing and at fly half.

Last Five Encounters
29.09.2007 Fiji 38, Wales 34 in Nantes (World Cup, Pool B)
11.11.2005 Wales 11-10 in Cardiff
09.11.2002 Wales 58-15
11.11.1995 Wales 19-15 in Cardiff
18.06.1994 Wales 23-8 in Suva

Fiji has never won in Cardiff, going back to the first game there, in 1964 on Fiji's first tour to Europe, where a Welsh XV won 28-22

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Wales 9th, Fiji 12th

IRB Rankings
Wales 77.69 (9th), Fiji 74.39 (10th)

Prediction: It will be close. Wales by 3 points



15 Lee Byrne, 14 George North, 13 James Hook, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Daniel Biggar, 9 Richard Rees,8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Daniel Lydiate, 6 Ryan Jones, Capt. 5 Deiniol Jones, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Paul James.
16 Richard Hibbard, 17 John Yapp, 18 Bradley Davies, 19 Tobias Faletau, 20 Michael Phillips, 21 Stephen Jones, 22 Thomas Shanklin.
Head Coach: Warren Gatland


15 Joshua Matavesi, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Albert Vulivuli, 12 Gabriele Lovobalavu, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Seremaia Baï, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Semisi Saukawa, 5 Jone Qovu, 4 Ifereimi Rawaqa,3 Deacon Manu, Capt. 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
16 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 17 Graham Dewes, 18 Sekonaia Kalou, 19 Akapusi Qera , 20 Seveci Taka, 21 Ropate Ratu, 22 Taniela Rawaqa.
Head Coach: Samuela Domoni

No comments:

Post a Comment