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Monday Nov 26, 2018

Fiji celebrate huge upset with touching song and classy gesture

Fiji celebrate huge upset with touching song and classy gesture
8
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Fiji beat France for the first time ever on Saturday, claiming a well-deserved win over Les Blues for the first time in ten outings. Their post-match celebration, as seen countless times in Sevens, was beautiful to witness. 

Fiji, who have a number of their players playing throughout France, played some stunning rugby to beat France for the first time in 60 years, less than a year out from the World Cup.

Bordeaux-Begles’ Semi Radradra and Toulon’s Josua Tuisova both scored outstanding tries for the pacific islanders, while Guilhem Guirado crossed twice for the French.

Coach John McKee said post-match: “It’s a massive achievement. We told each other this week that if we beat France we would make it into the pantheon of Fijian rugby.”

And while the win will give Fiji their highest ever world ranking, they have also received plaudits around the world for their humility, as photos were shared of them cleaning the changeroom post match.

We’ve seen and heard about a few other teams doing the same, but that doesn’t take away from the effort after what was a huge upset win away from home.

While France had narrowly lost to South Africa in the dying seconds then beaten Argentina 28-13 a week later, this shock loss brings them crashing down to earth, as emphasised by Mathieu Bastareaud after the final whistle.

TV microphones caught his angry talk to his players, loosely translated from French as: “Who do we think we are? We beat Argentina and we think we’re something special. We have to start from scratch now and we’re at rock bottom. Because we’re pathetic, shameful, we have to be aware of that.”

The final score in Paris was 21-14 to Fiji.

After the match, the victors gathered in the middle of the field and were led by scrum half Frank Lomani in a beautiful rendition of a traditional song that can only make you love and respect the Fijians.

Full match highlights:

Watch Semi Radradra’s powerful try again here

8 Comments

  • Adam
    4:04 AM 27/11/2018

    Would it be so crazy if Fiji advance out of pool D? On current form I imagine a few are sweating down under. This was not a typical "Island win" where the "better team" gets drawn into a shooting match and looses. There was clearly a game plan, and the Fiji players have bought in and executed. They beat France cold. The score flattered France thanks to a few disallowed tries. Picamoles and Guirado had a great game as did Bastareaud, and it still was not enough. The other French players had quiet games because their opposites took them out of it. Radrada is incredible. That being said... was I the only one having a heart attack at the end of the game when they took the penalty kick instead of launching it into touch? 

    Reply
    • pickay
      9:58 AM 27/11/2018

      Nope, you were not the only one. Ben Volavola was definitely also having a heart attack...

      Reply
  • pickay
    2:39 PM 26/11/2018

    Was impressed to see that Fiji didn't just somehow manage to snatch the win, but that they actually outplayed France in most areas for most of the game. Radradra causing havoc all over the place, he can really create something out of nothing! For France I must say I was impressed by the leadership of the likes of Bastareaud and particularly Picamoles, who I thought really tried to step up the intensity and lead by example when things didn't go well. Wasn't enough on the day, but a team needs guys like this.

    Reply
  • colombes
    10:04 AM 26/11/2018

    As Bastareaud said, a despicable and pathetic performance by les Bleus which doesn't deserve any words. So, my only words this monday will be for Fidji: "Bravo les gars!" 

    Reply
    • rugbydump
      11:31 AM 26/11/2018

      Were France that bad or Fiji just really good on the day? 

      Reply
      • colombes
        12:48 PM 26/11/2018
        Top Comment

        A bit of both i guess: Most of France players played without any aggresivity, when Fidji was really good to cut the lines. Better to talk Fidji incredible perf than these mediocre bleus, really.

        Reply
  • jimmy23
    9:46 AM 26/11/2018

    Is Radradra today's Lomu? I can't think of anyone else today who regularly obliterates defenders like that. 

    Reply
    • rugbydump
      11:32 AM 26/11/2018

      I believe he was made by EA Sports 

      Reply


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