Fiji sense very little weaknesses in England squad
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Fiji will have to tighten up if they want to continue their dream World Cup campaign says kicking coach Seremaia Bai.
Fiji limped into the quarterfinal after securing a losing bonus point in their shock 23-24 defeat to Portugal last weekend.
The Pacific Islanders finished second in Pool C, eliminating Australia in the pool stage for the first time in their history.
Fiji will now face England in the quarterfinals at Stade de Marseille on Sunday.
“We had a goal in mind, to make it to the quarterfinals, so we are looking forward to this coming week,” Fiji kicking coach Seremaia Bai said.
“It was a tough pool for us to get out of and we are glad that we made it to the quarters.
“We will make sure that we tighten up where we need to.”
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Fiji will certainly fancy their chances against England.
The last time the two teams met, Fiji beat England 30-22 in a World Cup warm-up at Twickenham in August.
“It gives us great confidence going into the game that we have beaten them,” Bai said.
“But the most important thing in a playoff is that anything can happen so we have to regroup, re-focus and we will have to prepare well for this resilient English side.”
England have been in good form since then. The 2019 finalist sailed into the quarterfinal with four wins from four, showing minimal weaknesses Bai noticed.
“It reminds me of the 2007 tournament where everybody wrote England off [but they reached the World Cup final],” Bai said.
“They have shown how good they are, with players who have played on the big stage. We respect that and take it on board. Now we need to see how we can come back and do well in this quarterfinal.
“They’ve got a great kicking game, though I think they tend to run the ball more in this World Cup. Some of the individuals are world-class players. They have good set-pieces – lineouts and scrums – and some big ball carriers, so they are strong across the board.”