Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

Fiji coach slams European clubs after loss



Fiji coach Inoke Male accused European clubs of weakening his side and ridding the Pacific Islanders of their natural flair following a record 54-12 defeat by England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The build-up to the opening match of Fiji's northern hemisphere campaign had been overshadowed by allegations European clubs were, contrary to International Rugby Board regulations, refusing to release players to the tour party.

Indeed, the Fijian Rugby Union lodged a formal complaint with their French counterparts after Racing-Metro lock Jone Qovu withdrew from their squad.

Qovu had initially claimed he was injured but then played for Racing against Perpignan on October 27.

The French Rugby Federation responded by banning Qovu from playing for Racing until December 4, which covers Fiji's European tour, which sees them play English Premiership side Gloucester in Tuesday before games against Ireland A and Georgia.

"We lost some of the boys earlier in the week. Some of them weren't released by clubs and some were not available until the last minute, about four players," Male said.

"Had they been available we would have given England a game," added Male, whose team kicked-off at Twickenham on Saturday with just one training session on tour behind them.

"Unfortunately, we haven't got the luxury of having players together for two weeks, like England; we had three days together.

"The turnover time (until the Gloucester match) is just two to three days.

"It is not to our advantage but we will try to win the game before we meet Ireland A on Saturday."

This was Fiji's first test against England in 13 years. It came on the same day as Argentina, who were also once considered a second-tier nation, showed the benefits of their recent involvement in the new southern hemisphere Rugby Championship by beating Six Nations champions Wales 26-12 in Cardiff.

"Fiji would be quite happy to have England coming (to Fiji) every year," said Male. "Tier One nations should give the Pacific Islands more games so we can develop our rugby."

Although largely outclassed at Twickenham, the Fijians did score the try of the match when Glasgow scrum-half Nicola Matawalu's superb solo effort in the 54th minute saw the visitors score their first points of the game.

But despite Matawalu's try, Male was concerned by the overall effect of nothern hemisphere club rugby on a Fiji side where six members of the starting XV on Saturday were with European sides.

"Some of the boys that came to Europe lost their touches in Europe," he said. "The Fijian players are more dangerous when they have the ball in hand.

"We didn't have that today (Saturday) and I think that's why we lost the game."

Shop

SA rugby Annual 2014
The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
R175.00
Victor - My Journey
As the most capped Springbok ever, Victor Matfield is a national hero who transcends rugby provincialism and has fans across the world
R198.44
The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R110.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

MLS - Major League Soccer - Week 20: Seattle Sounders v La Galaxy
SS4
Wed, 30 Jul @ 05:00
Hockey - Women: Malaysia v Wales
SS7
Wed, 30 Jul @ 06:00

Sports Talk



Brendan Venter
The art of execution
With the reality of an all-Australasian Super Rugby final scheduled for Saturday, I believe now is...

Tony Johnson
Winning means rising above adversity
Winning a big rugby tournament is usually about the ability of a team to produce its best in the...

Brenden Nel
Time for Sevens to up the ante
Sunday night’s amazing Commonwealth Games win by the South African Sevens team has only served to...

Gavin Rich
A flawed plan
A third-place finish, a semifinal exit and the South African conference title may, to some, be fair...

Super Wrap
It's a Wrap, and a Super one at that
Only one side in a six-team playoff series and the rest of our teams comfortably in the bottom half...