2007/09/30

Climb Every Mountain - Fiji's Rugby Team Upsets Wales 38-34

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Above: Fiji's winger Vilimoni Delasau is tackled by Wales's prop Duncan Jones during their Rugby Union World Cup Group B match at the La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, western France. Fiji beat Wales 38-34 in one of the most thrilling World Cup matches of all-time. -AFP photo.

It was Fiji's first win in nine games against Wales and sees them advance to their first quarter-final since 1987.

According to Fiji's captain, Mosese Rauluni, it was the people of Fiji that made the difference. Captain Mosese Rauluni said the team was inspired by messages of support from back home and a story of a village that went to great lengths to watch the game. Because the satellite dish in their remote village did not pick up World Cup broadcasts, the locals settled on a drastic solution. "One of the villages climbed a mountain with a generator because they couldn't get reception," Rauluni said. "The whole village climbed the mountain and took the generator [and the village's sole TV set I might add ~Pb]. That's the sort of thing we're playing for."

Others in remote parts of the country listened the game by radio in the wee hours of the morning.

"We've always had political problems in the past," Fiji coach Ilie Tabua said after his team's victory at the La Beaujoire stadium. "One thing that unites the people there is rugby. They travel mountains just to watch a rugby game. To unite the people is a great thing for us. It will bring us together as a nation."

13 comments:

nzm said...

YEAH - WHAT A GAME!

Even the Aussie commentators are saying that this was the best game they've ever seen, and exactly how rugby should be played.

I screamed myself hoarse - especially towards the end when it looked as if the Fiji boys might give it away.

Next up - the Boks and they will be hard to beat.

Fiji will need to greatly improve their scrums and errant passing because the saffies will pounce on these weaknesses.

Go Fiji!

ladybug said...

I hope Fiji wins too, even though I probably know as much about Rugby as I do about Football (the American version). Which all I know is the opposing teams have to get the ball across the endzone to get some points...and sometimes they can kick it.

My abiding memory is from Freshman year at college-the Rugby team's "house" was right across the street from our dorm....and we got serenaded by drunken revelry quite frequently!

Pandabonium said...

NZM - glad you got to watch it.

Ladybug - I don't know much about rugby either, other than people in Fiji love it and it's a very rough sport. I was just happy to see Fiji win this one and lift everyone's spirits there.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It is a rough game. Hey, what a beaut photo you posted! Winning certainly helps a community to be optimistic and forget all about those other troubles for a few hours.
We've really done well down here this weekend. Geelong winning the footie and now Storm has won the rugby - so Melbourne is really the sports city of Oz at present.
w.

QUASAR9 said...

oh boy oh boy
Rugby teams are taking the bug four by storm

Great Pic!

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - I was really happy to find that picture. Sounds like you're on a roll in Melbourne.

Quasar9 - I'm sure the big four are "bugged" by these upsets. It sure makes the games more interesting.

The Moody Minstrel said...

A simple explanation of Rugby football (at least Rugby UNION football) for all you American types out there:

Start with American football. Now get rid of the helmets and pads. Then do away with the whole yardage and downs thing. When there is a need to restart play, replace that "hike" thing with something called a "scrum" (kind of like a jump ball in basketball only more violent). In fact, make the whole "line of scrimmage" thing irrelevant. Don't bother stopping play for trivial things such as tackles. Basically, as long as the ball is on the field and in motion the action goes on uninterrupted.

There's more to it than that, but that should pretty much give you a general idea.

Now, don't even start talking about Aussie-rules (Rugby) football...

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Sorry for butting in but don't sling off about Aussie rules which some people call aerial pingpong. It's the best game of all for the guys. Some young girls play in school teams too these days. It's actually a bit like an Irish/gaelic football they say.
w.

QUASAR9 said...

lol, yep that's what i meant

Pandabonium said...

Moody - thanks for that.

Wendy - well, let me butt in here. I don't think Moody meant that as an insult, just that to the uninitiated, rugby is puzzling to figure out and Australian rugby more so.

Quasar9 - I liked it. Headline: The bug four - squashed!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Sorry for butting in but don't sling off about Aussie rules which some people call aerial pingpong.

Wendy, Wendy, Wendy, don't be jumping to conclusions! I'm not "slinging off" about anything! Our sister school in Caloundra is very enthusiastic about their nearby "hometeam" (the Brisbane Lions), just as we are about our home pro soccer team (the Kashima Antlers), and when they came to visit us last summer one of the high points was the Aussie-rules football lesson they taught one of our grade 9 P.E. classes. It really got our school interested in the sport!

My point is that it may look like Rugby Union from a distance, but it is a very different sort of animal...and would take a while for me to explain its rather complicated rules!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It's me again. Well, the Fiji team will be playing in 10 minutes so I'm outa here soon. The Wallabies got done, and so did the All Blacks which was a surprise. It's gonna be very hard for Fiji to win tonight, but the relatives/friends/everyone back home in Fiji are a prayin' lot!
w.

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - I am grateful to the universe that Fiji had its day in the sun with the game against Wales. I hope they continue to play their best and show their pride no matter what the outcome in future games.