Editorial | Now that was tough

Listen to this article:

Rugby Union – Rugby World Cup 2023 – Pool D – Fiji v Georgia – Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux, France – September 30, 2023 Fiji’s Waisea Nayacalevu scores a try REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Now that wasn’t a game we’d expected from the Flying Fijians.

To be staring at a blank wall at the break wasn’t easy to accept.

Especially being down 0-9 at the breather.

It was difficult to watch Georgia control the tempo in the first spell.

It was difficult to watch them come off with some good work in the breakdowns, and it was hard to watch them in the lineouts and when it came to taking those penalties.

They were threatening on attack, and in defence.

In the end, we had issues trying to get over the gain line and it was difficult to watch the boys lose possession in the contact area.

It was hard to watch Georgia shoot ahead and take that lead.

It was handy though for them, and the writing was on the wall.

They could come clean in the end if we weren’t careful.

So, when all things are said and done, it must count if we say that the Flying Fijians were resilient.

Yes, they stared at a blank wall.

Yes, they had to come up against that scoreline in the second half.

Yes, they had to claw their way back into the game and yes, they had a huge mountain to climb.

So, with all that in front of the team, it was encouraging to watch them get back into the game. It wasn’t the way we wanted the game played at all.

We had high expectations following that win over the Australian Wallabies and that thriller against Wales in our opener.

This is the world cup.

Every team comes prepared to play the game of their lives.

This is where the best matters, and that means each player giving their best shot for the team.

After all, the cream of the crop are at the RWC 2023.

It is just how the game eventually panned out though that must mean something.

It is just the way top teams are expected to perform.

When the chips are down, they are expected to come clean in the end.

They are expected to stand up and be counted.

They are expected to put their hands up and get back into the game.

And they are expected to turn the tables, and win.

That happened yesterday.

We came out in the second spell, and we did the little things that mattered to control the game, control the tempo and get that win.

It did not look good at all, but the result went our way.

We won!

If it means anything, we went in with respect for Georgia.

We named our best side and Georgia were tough!

Now the next big one is against Portugal and national coach Simon Raiwalui has his work cut out.

He knows what must be done to defeat Portugal.

There were many lessons in the game against Georgia.

We will do well to embrace them and organise ourselves better in the lead up to the game against Portugal.

Raiwalui has said there are many things to fix and much work to be done.

For now, a win matters.

The Flying Fijians have a lot of work to do moving forward.

We say go Fiji, go.