PNC- let the battle begin
World Cup, Heiniken Cup and Super 14 titles have all been decided in the past 6 months, now centre stage comes to Oceania as 6 teams battle out the Pacific Nations Cup. A lot has been commented on in the press, in the living room, in the smoko room and just about everywhere else about how boring Northern Hemisphere rugby has been. Right now is the time for this cup to highlight the strengths and flair that rugby desperately needs. In the battle of ELV laws and rugby supremacy the critics are still out, no one though can doubt that genuine pace and creativity with the ball in hand is why people tune into this mighty game. The following weeks will be sure to entertain and NZ Maori, Fiji, Samoa, Japan, Australia A and Tonga will be full on at each other to claim this title.
The flying Fijians are on a high after their performance at the Rugby World Cup in France, reaching the quarter finals and giving the eventual winners South Africa a bit of a scare in Marseille. Equally Tonga will also feel bullet proof after their performances on the same stage, Samoa will be dangerous as they were below par and will make someone in this PNC pay for it. Australia A and NZ Maori are tremendous teams from big rugby nations and they are reeking of super 14 players and vast experience which will make them hard to beat. This leaves us with Japan, one word that suits this team is guts and lots of it. They have been pipped at the post a few times in the last season and that painful experience will have equipped them to finish teams off in similar circumstances this season. One common link in all these teams is they are not scared at all to chuck the ball about, ruthless defence and uncanny ability to attack from anywhere will be alive in this cup and no doubt we will be on the edge of our seats soaking it up.
It all gets underway this Saturday in Fiji's sugar town Lautoka at 2.05. May the most daring team win.