Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Fijiana learn their lesson as they prepare for South Africa

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air 
Sarah Hunter of England is tackled during the Pool C Rugby World Cup match between Fiji and England. Photo: Hannah Peters / World Rugby
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

After suffering a loss in their first World Cup match in front of a sold out Eden Park in Auckland over the weekend, captain Sereima Leweniqila and her Fijiana sisters are learning from their mistakes as they prepare for their match against South Africa.

Fijiana went down to a classy English side 84-19. The World Cup first-timers managed to hold England off for the majority of the first half, however the number one placed England came out swinging with ten tries in the second half. 

“Coming into this environment was new. We enjoyed it for the first 20 minutes, then we got frustrated, then we got a lesson about how it feels to go against the number one team in the world.” Leweniqila said. 

“I think we could have played better but it just wasn’t our day. We learned a lot and it’s good learning for our first time in a World Cup.”

Head coach Senirusi Seruvakula was quick to praise his team’s efforts after the loss. 

“I think it was the biggest match of the girls’ lives, especially playing against the world number one and a very professional outfit”

“It’s a dream come true for a lot of these girls who always watch on the telly Super Rugby and test matches. Now they are here and playing rugby at Eden Park.”

Seruvakula believes that their debut match against England was the perfect lesson for them as they continue through their World Cup campaign.

Fijiana will play South Africa this Sunday at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland. South Africa also lost their first match against France.

“They are bigger than the England team, watching them against France, they were big girls. We just need to be composed and disciplined and like I said, have the ball at all times” Seruvakula said.

“It’s the first time for us to be in a World Cup and we’re here, so we’ll keep on working hard for the rest of the matches coming.”

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