Monday, October 08, 2007
Against Wales Fiji produced one of the performances of the tournament by knocking the Welsh out with some fantastic displays of running rugby.
It was much of the same against South Africa yesterday, giving the Boks a serious scare by scoring twice in 5 minutes during a period that must have made the Springboks wonder if they would be joining their Tri Nations counterparts on a plane home.
Fiji looked extremely dangerous whenever they got the ball and at one stage, at 20-20, it looked as though we could have another massive upset on the cards.
The Springboks came back though, showing experience and calm heads, to win the game 37-20.
Fiji have shown once again that Second Tier teams can most certainly compete against traditional Tier One countries if given the opportunity.
Not may would have picked Fiji to come second in their group. But, through their naturally skilled runners and their big, hard working forwards, they managed to surprise everyone, and on another day may have just sent the Boks home prematurally.
With Seru Rabeni off for a high tackle, the Fijians played above themselves to score two of the most memorable tries of the tournament. Springbok coach Jake White joked afterwards that perhaps with only 14 players on the field they felt that they were two Sevens teams and thats what made them that strong.
Fijian captain Mosese Rauluni, who had a fantastic game and tournament, had this to say.
"I'm so proud of the boys, it just goes to show that some of the Second Tier teams can put it to the First Tier teams," Rauluni said.
"All I asked of the boys was to give it their all and they did. They gave it for their country, their families and their friends, they sacrificed time away.
"We had some upsets yesterday and we hoped to add to that, but unfortunately we couldn't do it. Now it is up to South Africa and Argentina to carry the flag for the Southern Hemisphere," he added.