Young Fijian sensation Frank Lomani has declared his side capable of derailing the Western Force juggernaut and putting themselves in the frame for the Pacific Showcase crown. After making the long trip to Perth from Fiji, Lomani said the players have acclimatised and are ready to deliver their best performance of the series on Friday night at HBF Park.
“Our aim is nothing but to win,” Lomani boldly proclaimed after completing preparations at the picturesque Cottelsoe Rugby Club on Thursday afternoon.
The Force are unbeaten in three Pacific Showcase matches, while Fijian Latui have lost just once in their three outings. The 12-point loss to the Force in Lautoka a month ago still stings the Fijian side and they would love nothing more than to return the favour in front of the Sea of Blue.
Having bagged 14 tries to date Fiji have plenty of attacking weapons and interrupting that free-flowing ball movement was a key tactic the Force employed in the last game. No doubt it will be a focus again on Friday evening and Lomani said they are ready for whatever was thrown at them.
“We’ve been studying past games and we have a game plan that can counter their defensive speed if that is what they go with again. We’re confident it’ll work out for us,” Lomani said.
Anticipating what the Force will do is one thing, putting it into action in the heat of battle without compromising their own creative game is another.
“We learnt a lot of things when we last played the Force and have been looking forward to playing them again,” Lomani said.
“They’re very fast and have good understanding, so for us to win we need to work double time. There has been a step-up at training this week, everyone has put in a lot of effort. This is a game we all want to win.”
Lomani will be one of a large contingent of Fijian Latui players keen to impress with national team selectors looking on. Nine of the 23 to play in Perth have been called into the Pacific Test squad to tackle the Maori All Blacks and the Pacific Nations Cup.
“This is our last game before the Test matches. We’re all trying to get a spot in the World Cup team, not only in the 23 but in the starting XV, and we are driving ourselves harder to fight for those spots,” said Lomani.