Deacon Manu has had some pretty disappointing days in a Fiji shirt and Saturday ranks as amongst the lowest.
A 53-0 hiding to a second string Irish side wasn’t what he anticipated. He declined to shift blame for the defeat to anyone but the players as he outlined his “bitter” disappointment at a lacklustre performance.
The 33-year-old New Zealand-born prop emerged as one of the few resilient Fijians on a night of disappointment for the Pacific islanders. They’re simply not used to being held scoreless even if they’re often resigned to defeat against higher ranked rugby nations.
“Yeah, sad day, frustrating,” he said. “It was really disappointing not to even get one score. We competed, I figure, relatively well at set-piece.
“We gave enough ball to the backs but just the continuity and discipline really let us down. We can be our own worst enemies at times, it was hugely frustrating because we wanted to get some kind of a result looking further ahead.
“This was really a hard pill to swallow, we had our opportunities in the 22 but got nothing. You need to get rewards, a penalty or a try, yet we were 20 points behind before we knew what hit us and our guys tend to make mistakes when things aren’t going right.”
Moving forward, Fiji need to build credibility and earn ranking points for the next World Cup.
Outlining how difficult it has been for Fiji these last weeks — with a number of European clubs refusing to release some of their top players — he wants to move forward.
“We have to put in a lot of extra work and make sure that we go in positive fashion to Georgia because that is a ranking match for the World Cup. That’s all that counts right now, we can look back but it’s more positive to look forward.”
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