Emerging Nations World Cup Philippines vs Niue Preview

The Philippines last hope of making it out of their Pool and into the cup rather than the Bowl, having lost already to Malta in Round 1 of the competition. The Philippines will have no doubt followed the Niue game very closely and look to find weaknesses to exploit in their decisive clash.

Niue gave a very good account of themselves in their Emerging Nations debut, the Island nation making a very strong start to the competition with a 26-16 win over the Maltese outfit. While Niue's attack was very impressive, the aspect of their game that screamed volumes is their defense all over the park, coming into this game Malta were the most dangerous attacking team in the competition with 7 tries in their opener, Niue only conceding 3 tries against one of the tournament favorites.

The Philippines are going to have to find a way to win the battle post contact, Niue did a very good job of working the floor and giving their big bodies an extra second or two to fill back into the defensive line and take a little oxygen in, if the Philippines can find their fronts and the floor quickly they stand a good chance of breaking this big outfit down.

 The reason that speed is referenced so much in this particular preview is due to the clear signs of tiring within the Niue contingent after 20 or so minutes, 18 of Niue's 26 points came within the first 20 minutes of play, at that point Niue weren't looking as strong as they were post contact showing clear signs of fatigue and relying on their middle men to make the tackles.

I feel this game will bring two very contrasting styles of play, Niue's up the middle drives and targeting of smaller opposition vs the Philippines moving of the ball towards the edges and forcing their opponents to follow them around the field, either way this is sure to be a no holds barred contest between two side desperate to secure their spot in the Cup.


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