The 200 Welsh tackles, the permanent danger from Waisea, the errors from Radradra or even the too many warnings from Carley… Find the Tops and Flops of Wales’ victory over Fiji (32-26).
Welsh tackles at will
We expected the Fijian magicians to impress us but that was not the Welsh intention. Like second row Will Rowlands, author of 26 tackles (100% success), Warren Gatland’s men did everything to limit the Fijian flights. With more than 220 successful tackles, compared to only 70 for the Fijians, Wales demonstrated their defensive solidity which, however, ed in the last ten minutes in the face of Fijian madness and envy. But the important thing is there with the victory and the five points this Sunday.
Waisea, creator of danger
The captain of this Fijian team tried to lead the way tonight. Author of his team’s first try (13th) on a breakthrough between Biggar and Wainwright, it is also he who creates the gap with an excellent off-load which launches Radradra on Tagitagivalu’s try (17th). Always advancing with his power and formidable with his hooks and feints, he represented a constant threat to Wales.
The Fijian bench, bearer of hope
After the fourth Welsh try (Elliot Dee, 66th), the difference in the score was 18 points. Seeing Fiji come back and have a chance of winning seemed impossible as they seemed to be in difficulty as the match progressed. But buoyed by the entries of Ravai, Botia and Tuisova, the Fijians regained progress by winning duels thanks to their power. The Fijian bench really brought freshness to the field and allowed the Flying Fijans to leave this match with two points on the clock.
We know his offensive talents, which he demonstrated again this Sunday, but it was especially his errors in defense that stood out. Involved in three of the four Welsh tests, he can be judged at fault with a first missed tackle on North (7th), an aggressive climb which frees up space on the test of the same North (29th) and finally by being caught inside at the start action on the test of Rees-Zammit (48th). To crown his performance it was he who committed the forward in the Welsh 22 meters on the match point while the try was close.
The referee’s inconsequential warnings
He warned the Welsh numerous times throughout the match but waited until the 68th minute to show the first yellow card against the Leek XV. However, they were penalized 17 times this evening, often close to their line by cutting dangerous actions but the card took a long time to be released by the evening referee. There are also situations of disputed Welsh tackles which have not been noted by the refereeing body. We will not repeat the match but different decisions could have been taken and we could have seen one or even yellow cards shown earlier in the match.