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From Marijuana To Rugby League

From Marijuana To Rugby League
From left; Josefa Seganakete, Sivorosi Tora, Hot Bread Kitchen director John Samisoni and Penijamini Velitokaduadua cutting the cake during the official launching of the tournament on November 20, 2018. Photo: Grace Narayan
August 22
13:31 2014

Vatubalavu was once the target of the Fiji Police Force drug squad. Located in the interior of the Navosa highlands, it was where big marijuana farms were located and drug lords often thronged the area to ensure that there is always a smooth flow of supply to their urban markets.

Although illegal for many villagers at that time they saw it as an opportunity to make big money and buy whatever luxury item they could afford.

But all of that soon changed as the Police drug squad executed their operations up in the highlands and were able to destroy most of the drug farms and those that were caught were taken to task.

However, as time went on rugby league was re-introduced to the highlands. This caught the attention of the villagers as it was a sport they had embraced more than 20 years ago and regarded as one of their own before it fizzled out.   Last Saturday, it was proud moment for the people of Vatubalavu when their club Tuwalu Tigers beat Keiyasi Cowboys 10-6 in the Navosa Zone’s Vodafone Cup premier division grand final at the Vatureba ground last Saturday.

“After all these years of bad publicity on drugs, the people of Vatubalavu were proud of their new image as the highland’s best rugby league club, as they now focus on taking on the nation’s best,” development officer Suliasi Cakautabu said.

He pointed out that Tigers skipper Isoa Neivua stood out with his strong play as they fought hard to maintain their four-point win.

“Neivua ran hard all day and he also threw his body on the line when it comes to defence. He led by example and that what helped the Tigers.”

Cakautabu said from the finals, he is confident that a couple of players along with Neivua should be able to make the Fiji Residents squad.

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