Friday, August 2, 2019

Pacific Nations Round 2: USAvMS; FijivCanada; JapanvTonga

Pacific Nations Cup - Round 2

USA (5) v (4) Samoa at ANZ Stadium, Suva - 8:30pm MST, Friday August 2: no surprise here, Eagles will be facing a Manu Samoa XV composed of a powerful pack and swift, savvy threequarters; it’s been showering for the while in Suva and that forecast is predicted to continue throughout the day and evening, so though temps will be in the low 70s for kickoff, slicken the pill and slippen the paddies. USA will works its recent successful interior channel work interspersed with pick-and-go smashes. Crucial to maintain possession and when on defense, to make that offensive tackle.
And if you’re wondering, “Is Nigel Owens doing the match?” That answer would be a resounding, “YES”
Fiji (0) v (0) Canada at ANZ Stadium, Suva - 11pm MST, Friday August 2: neither side will like their recent performance and will look to rebound positively; it’s gonna be slidey all round the park today so they who best maintain possession shall be better-placed for the happy ending. Theoretically the defensive lapses of the first round will have been attended to, and discipline will have been instilled by the coaching staffs during the week so that field ref, Mike Fraser, can manage the match rather than be required to control play in a more judgmental, staccato fashion. Niko Matawalu, a classic halfback in the Gareth Edwards mode, is in at 9 for Flying Fijians and even though conditions may not be ripe for it, Matawalu’s influence may spark take off.
Japan (5) v (0) Tonga at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka City - 4:10am MST, Saturday August 3: Brave Blossoms were better than Fiji on their Home Islands last time out and will anticipate further expression versus Ikale Tahi on the day; for the visitors to have a chance, it is critical that referee Luke Pearce have no call to bring the cards out. High 80s with cloudcover, chance of rain and a breeze blowing crossfield at kickoff. Big sticks and early licks for this one!

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