Fijiana work on ‘D’ for WC

Fijiana winger Alowesi Nakoci goes about her stretching with team mates during their first training session in New Zealand. Picture: FRU

The Rooster Chicken Fijiana team is leaving no stone unturned in getting players match ready for what will be the biggest game of their lives when they take on England next week Saturday at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Fijiana assistant coach Mosese Rauluni said they were using their early arrival in New Zealand to get the players fine-tuned for the world number one ranked England side.

The former Flying Fijians halfback said they planned to have a couple of training sessions over the coming days to get the players “use to the wind, the rain and the softer fields”, with the team’s main emphasis on defence.

He said the players showed an improvement in this area during their 7-24 loss to Canada last week but there was a lot more work to be done.

“I think there’s still a lot of areas that we need to better in our D (defence). Greg (Smith) is working with the set-pieces,” Rauluni said.

“Obviously it (set-piece) was quite difficult and it put pressure on our D and the girls worked pretty hard on it the whole week before the Canada test. We did a lot of work on it and it improved.

“We’ve got to get better because England is a different team. So we’ll work a lot on D, attack and set-piece. We’ve got a lot of time, we’ve got two weeks training here so we’ll definitely work on our D even more and fix up the areas where we probably failed.”

Rauluni said they had taken a lot of learning from the Canada match, and a bit of confidence to match other teams with it.

“The game against Canada, the world number three, we gained a bit of confidence to say the England girls are really just human,” he said.

“We’ve just got to worry about ourselves, what we do and do the little things right – the girls are going to be working on that all week and into next week.

“England will be a tough ask but anything is possible.”

Fiji will take on England at the iconic Eden Park next week Saturday. Eight days later, the Fijiana and South Africa face each other for the first time at the Waitakere Stadium in Auckland. Fiji’s final pool game sees them play France at the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei on Saturday, October 22.

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