Dakuitoga: We cannot underestimate any team

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Vodafone Fiji Bati 9s head coach, Vula Dakuitoga, middle, is flanked by assistant coach, Isimeli Kuruisalevu, left, and team manager Akuila Masi after a press conference at the Vodafone hedquarters in Tamavua, Suva on Wednesday, August 09, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Vodafone Fiji men’s 9s side is all set to defend its gold medal at the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands which starts next week.

Coach Vulaono Dakuitoga said his side had two more sessions before heading to Honiara.

“Preparation is really good. We have two more sessions tomorrow (today) and on Friday before leaving,” he said.

Fiji beat Papua New Guinea 14-0 in the final in Apia, Samoa to win its second gold medal in men’s rugby league at the games in 2019.

PNG will not be taking part in the sport at this year’s games.

However, Dakuitoga says, every other team will be equally tough to beat.

“We cannot underestimate any team. It’s the Pacific Games, every team will come to win a medal.

“Past performances do not really matter. It’s a four-year break, other teams get a good break to prepare well and come back stronger.”

The Pacific Games will be held from November 19 to December 2.

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