In recent years, Fiji has dominated the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) pretty much the way its South Pacific neighbours, New Zealand, has dominated The Rugby Championship. But not this year. After two rounds (and only one to go) the south sea islanders are lying third of the six teams, behind Japan and USA.
Which is interesting because all six teams are participating in Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan from next month. And, according to some pundits, the hosts have a reasonable shot at making it out of Pool A into the knock-out rounds.
Given the quality of rugby they are producing in PNC, that’s an entirely plausible scenario. So far, they have defeated the champions of the past four years, Fiji (34-21) and thrashed Tonga (41-7). This weekend the Brave Blossoms face their sternest test yet, against USA in Fiji.
Speaking of the Eagles, their second position is thanks to a convincing win over Canada (47-19) and a close-fought victory last weekend against Samoa (13-10). Fiji, meanwhile, after losing to Japan, bounced back to dominate Canada (38-13).
As it stands, only Japan or USA can take the title this year, with the drastically shortened format of the tournament. And that will be decided on Saturday (06:35 SA time) but, as far as we can tell, the match will not be broadcast here. Perhaps it’s time for rugby fans to look for a streaming service provider.
At R199 for over 9000 channels, Epic TV looks like a good option. All you need is a decent internet connection and you can even try-before-you-buy using the 24-hour free trail.