Aussies cautious of flying Fijians

by Sam Phillips

They may have been belted by New Zealand but the Australian U20s are wary of the flashy football the Fijians could throw at them when they square off tonight.

The Fijians were comprehensively beaten by a rampant New Zealand U20s side but did show some signs of life in the second half.

They showed they are capable of the kind of rugby Fiji is known for at the national XV and Men's Sevens level and the Australians must improve on their performance against Samoa if they are to remain undefeated heading into the Saturday showdown with New Zealand.

"Obviously the Fijians like to be a bit random in what they do and certainly play an attacking brand of footy," assistant coach Carl Marshall said.

"They're very physical as well so we have had a look at them and found some things that we can attack and exploit."


Coach Simon Cron has made six changes to the starting XV that defeated Samoa, the majority of those natural rotations as the coaching staff try to gauge which combinations will work best come the World U20s Championships later this month.

"We're trying to give a fair few guys a go and see what they've got," 

"We've obviously got to reduce the squad down for the World Cup so we certainly want to have a look at some other guys."

Captain Reece Hewat said the cobwebs had been blown out in the clash against Samoa.

"It was a bit of a tough fought win but we will build on that," he said.

"There are some changes going into this game so we might be a bit rusty but the boys are excited.

"Anything can happen when you're facing this sort of team (Fiji) so we need to be connected in our D line, work on our D, getting up, staying connected and we should hold them pretty well."

The Australian U20s face the Fiji U20s at Bond University this afternoon, kicking off at 5pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.

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