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Issue of consistency

Fred Wesley
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

MOVING up the World Rugby ranking or any other sports ranking on the international stage is always encouraging.

As Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O'Connor said yesterday, it encourages the players to keep performing well every time they compete.

We have moved up a rank to edge Argentina who are now sitting on the 10th spot, and we are just behind another tier one nation France who now sit on number eight spot.

O'Connor pointed at the fact that we are the only tier two nation among tier one sides in the top 10.

He heaped praise on Flying Fijians coach John McKee.

He said the players should also be mindful that Fiji now has 79.48 points which is .33 points clear of Argentina who now sits at 10th place with 79.15pts while France is just .16pts at eighth place with 79.63pts.

The two teams, while being tier one nations, he said, play more Tests than we do so the pressure is on our players to perform well whenever they play tier one teams.

We have to raise the bar so to speak.

Fiji Sports Minister Laisenia Tuitubou echoed the line of his sentiments, acknowledging that it was a huge achievement for Fiji rugby.

He highlighted the Flying Fijians' victories against Scotland, Italy, Tonga and Samoa.

We beat Scotland 27-22 in Suva, beat Italy 22-19, then beat Tonga 14-10 and beat Samoa 38-16.

Mr Tuitubou said they had been working with the FRU and have invested in various coaching and rugby development programs.

While we have talented players, Fiji needs overseas technical advisers, he said.

It would set the platform for our talented players to be developed well.

Mr Tuitubou said Fijians should also be thankful for the Government's investment in the development of rugby.

Any effort to bolster our ranking and improve our game deserves to be acknowledged.

This latest ranking will no doubt add a touch of credibility to McKee's work to lift our standard internationally.

It is a positive reflection of the strength of the coaching staff, the strength and knowledge of our players, and the fact that we can mix it with the big boys of the sport.

Fiji rugby enjoyed rave reviews this year and fans will be hoping this continues to the next Rugby World Cup.

We can win big games. We have proven that.

Our scrums have improved. Our line-outs are on the mend, our attacks are lethal and our defence is better structured and solid.

The question, however, is can we be consistent?

The positive signs are all there. Perhaps we just have to stay focused.

Congratulations are certainly in order. Go Fiji, go.








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