Portugal coach Patrice Lagisquet fears the level of physicality the Flying Fijians will bring might be too much for them in their final Rugby World Cup Pool C match on Monday morning.
Portugal gave Wales and Australia scares in their Pool C matches with what Lagisquet calls their “Total Rugby” style and came within a missed kick of beating Georgia only to have to settle for a draw.
Lagisquet said he could not look to Georgia’s match against Fiji, where the Georgians led 9-0 at halftime but lost 17-12, as a blueprint for his Portugal team.
“We don’t have the same quality as Georgia or the same DNA. We don’t yet have enough experience to control our game,” Lagisquet told Reuters.
“I’m afraid that the physical dimension of the Fijians will drain us, that we’ll end up cracking and that it will be difficult to hold out for 80 minutes.”
My fear is a bit the same as before the Australia game.”
“On the other hand, we can take inspiration from Georgia and their defensive quality, because they defended high and prevented the Fijian powerhouse from expressing itself.”
Portugal will face Fiji at 7am at Toulouse on Monday, a crucial match that the Pacific Islanders will need to win, in order to book a spot in the quarterfinals of RWC 2023.