Coach, skipper react
3 July, 2022, 11:16 am
The outcome of the first Pacific Nations Cup game for the Vodafone Flying Fijians received mixed reactions from coach Vern Cotter and skipper Waisea Nayacalevu.
The home side defeated Ikale Tahi Tonga 36-0 in the first round of the PNC competition yesterday. Cotter said the objective was to win.
“We’re happy with a win,” Cotter said. “I think we got five points moving forward and if we look at the content of the game, we will be disappointed with ourselves.
“We made the game difficult, but in saying that there was probably more good and the intention was to fight. The boys fought well – start to finish – it was perfect that I really felt that desire had to do well.”
Against Australia A next weekend, he said they had to be careful with the touring side at Churchill Park in Lautoka.
“I spoke to the boys and they found the game very difficult. So, there’s something for us to work on and improve for next week.
“They (new players) were well supported by the old hands and even what was pleasing to the whole squad was they were involved from the beginning of the week.”
He said it wasn’t just 23 players. “There was a pool, so the players felt like they had their backs and they went out with confidence and I was impressed with the performance.
“That’s good for us and provides competition for spots in the team and gives us more depth. I’m sure that when you play your first Test, they’ll be ready. If we need them, they’ll be there.”
Meanwhile, Nayacalevu, while impressed with the new players, said the team needed to work on discipline to win the PNC.
“I am pretty happy for the boys today (yesterday),” he said.
“We are not satisfied, but we did some mistakes on the field and we’ll learn from there and take it to Australia A next week.
“Especially, our discipline on our off-side and in the rucks.” The next round will be at Churchill Park in Lautoka next Saturday.