Rugby: This UFO team that could cause a sensation at the World Cup!

Rugby: This UFO team that could cause a sensation at the World Cup!

Journalist for 20 years, I am a field man for Canal+ on the Top 14 and ProD2 and correspondent for Radio France

Opponent of the XV of France this Saturday in Nantes for the third test match of the Blues before the World Cup, the Fiji national team has serious offensive assets which have something to shake all the big nations. “Monster-Trucks” to which it will not be necessary to leave too many attack balloons.

The simple reading of the match sheet is enough to make all connoisseurs of rugby green. Tuisova, Radrada, Botia, Waisea… Each name evokes a well-known bulldozer from the Top 14. Each player – or almost – is a reference in our championship. It is for this reason that the Blues must be wary of this team whose playing characteristics very often differ from European standards as the XV of France meets regularly during the 6 Nations Tournament. “We know this terrible adversaryconfirms Fabien Galthié. They are the best strikers in the world. We know them because they almost all play in France. They are magnificent rugby players, endowed with exceptional potential. It’s a match that will be tough but so rich in lessons for us. It’s the perfect match to test us, and to go into battle. It will be a nice challenge”.

Maxime Lucu: “We are going to have war”

After the double confrontation against the Scots, the Blues will therefore pass a real crash test against a team which will want to impose its volume of play and try to undermine the French defense. “It’s going to be a completely different game for Scotland, explain Maxim Lucuwho will start in scrum-half this Saturday. The Scots we play them regularly. Fiji, we do not face them often. But we know very well that they are twirling players. We know that it will be unbridled play, and a lot of pressure in the groups. So the first rucks are going to be important. It will be necessary to have much more effective offensive support than against Scotland because there we will have war. Then, the more rhythm we put on, the more they will be in difficulty because it is a team which is also disorganized from time to time. But the slightest lost ball can end up on a 100-meter try”.

“A tactical issue” for Fabien Galthié

Faced with an unpredictable team and players who inspire fear, you have to know what strategy to use. “We know how to playprecise Maxim Lucu. It’s up to us to be structured, to set up our game patiently. And above all to be efficient with the ball and avoid what we did in Scotland: lose 17 balls! Because there it could be a lot of points on the counter at the end. So we will have to settle these dross and above all put some speed into our game. This will be the key to the match”. “Tactically it’s another approachexplains for his part the coach Fabian Galthie. At the tactical level, clearly, there is an issue for us. We will have to make the right choices to be able to play fair against this team. We identified how we had to play to perform. Future opponent of Fiji in the World Cup in pool C, David Gerardthe forwards coach of the Portugal, has studied this Fijian team well. He is not worried about the Blues on Saturday. Provided you use the right strategy. “In front of them, you have to structure the game as much as possibledetails David Gerard. They hate structure. The more the game gets carried away, the more there will be a loss of collective reference points, the stronger they will be. And it is their individualities that will take over. They have the ability to be monstrous out of order. And in terms of the three-quarter line, that’s the most powerful thing about this World Cup. They have a speed-strength ratio that is just monstrous.”

A pair of “Dantesque” centers

Special feature of this Fijian team: the three-quarter line. And in particular the potential XXL center pair Joshua TuisovaSami Radrada. Perhaps the best pair of three-quarter centers in the world! “These guys are capable of winning matches on their own, confirms David Gérard. They have a center of ground which is dantesque. And with the good rotation they have in the three-quarters, the level will not drop. Frankly they are scary! » But fortunately, the Fijian selection also has flaws. “They are struggling to find a stable and coherent hinge to conduct a team-specific strategyannounces the former manager of Montauban. That’s what plays tricks on them at times. And then their big weak point is the conquest. In touch and scrum, they are often in trouble. In front, you have to force them into a collective fight. They have a hard time accepting that. They don’t like teams that pick-and-go, carry balls, or scrum double-thrusts. On the other hand, the more volume there is, the louder they will be. If you only think about playing them, you’ll be in trouble. But the real fight, they like less”. The French have been warned.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here