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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Fiji blame match ball
Fiji's Moses Rauluni tries to find a way through
Fiji's Moses Rauluni goes on the attack
Fiji are to complain to the International Rugby Board that the ball used during their clash against the USA was 'too new'.

Fijian coach Mac McCallion has asked the IRB to provide teams with the match day ball before the game after handling problems at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

"The new ball has silicon film over it and I think that there's an above average error rate in the tournament due to that," McCallion said.

"I believe it should be given to us on a couple of training runs before the match because on the game day it is too slippery."

American captain Dave Hodges dismissed the claims with a firm dispatch, however.

"As far as I know both football teams have to play with the same ball and I certainly didn't notice it," said the 35-year-old veteran.

Fiji captain Alifereti Doviverata, meanwhile, admitted he was relieved his side had secured their first win of the World Cup after their 19-18 victory.

The Islanders came from 10 points down at one stage to win, with the US missing a late conversion that would have clinched victory.

"A win is a win for us and we're happy about that," Doviverata said.

"We came into this game with the chips down but we are now looking forward to the next game."

The win came as a relief to Fiji after they were thrashed by France in their opening game but they were made work hard

"We knew from the start that they would come hard at us, we've met them a few times before and they were a tough side." said Doviverata.

"In the dressing room, the message was ball retention, the message was just to keep the ball and keep recycling it and get a few phases," said Doviverata.



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