Rabeni relaxed as Hook wrings his hands

THE contrast between Wales' and Fiji's players after Saturday's shattering World Cup result in Nantes could not be more stark, and was best summed up by rival centres James Hook and Seru Rabeni.

"It's the lowest point in my career and it's hard to describe and put into words how we feel. We're just devastated, we let Fiji play," said a still shell-shocked Hook.

Rabeni, on the other hand, said after the biggest shock of the tournament: "We're still laidback, we play for the love of it in Fiji.

"It's not about the result against Wales and we don't go looking for money. If we get the result we get back into training and it enhances our performance in the future.

"I've been very fortunate to play for Fiji, but I just go out there and play."

Back to Hook: "The dressing- room is like a morgue," he said. "It was hugely physical, and though we were expecting that we played into their hands. We've just got to pick ourselves up. Alfie' (Wales captain Gareth Thomas) has said we've got to keep our heads up.

"You can't point fingers, but it's about picking our heads up and moving on. Heads will be in the shed back home, but after a couple of days reflecting on this we'll be back in the Magners League.

"It's disappointing but we've got to get on with it. That final try, I don't know about (its legality) but it should never have got to that.

"There was nothing positive about this performance for us, but we've just got to pick ourselves up."

Rabeni believes the Wales result was just what the World Cup needed. "It was good for the tournament and the result was a blessing for the smaller nations," he said.

"Now South Africa (their quarter-final in Marseille on Sunday instead of Wales) will be a do-or-die game. Anything can happen, but we'll play our own brand of rugby and if they let us play we'll cut them loose.

"If we put our minds together we can do it and the French support will go for Fiji because they love the small nations and we really appreciate the support we've had."

Then Rabeni slipped into that casual Fijian way. "If we don't win it'll be just another week of rugby, though we still have something in the tank and we'll give it everything."

And then the Fijians went off to church to give thanks!

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree