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Coach Saumi Eyes Three-Peat

Coach Saumi Eyes Three-Peat
Philip Murray of Ratu Kadavulevu School with the ball against Cuvu College during the Powerade Super Deans under 18 final at ANZ Stadium on August 11, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar
August 12
10:00 2018

As the Ratu Kadavulevu School fraternity switches to celebration mode over the next few days, or perhaps weeks, the man who made it all possible is already putting in place plans to repeat the feat next year.

This is to win the finals of all grades the school’s teams qualify for.

RKS won all grade titles for the first time last year.

World Rugby certified Level 4 coach Nacanieli Saumi believes the Under-18 side won because of their strong defence.

The strategy left Cuvu College scoreless in the final.

As well, RKS took out titles in all grades, bar the Under-17 which was won by Queen Victoria School.

“Defence always wins you cham­pionships and we’ve been working on that since the day we started training together,” Saumi said.

“We have achieved what we set out to achieve. We stuck to our game plan, we contained them

“Our game plan was to let Cuvu play in the first half and we just have to contain them and see where their energy system ends up.

“I think 10 minutes before the half they ran out of gas and that’s when we stepped up our game to the next level.”

Saumi also confirmed that he had not applied for coaching positions recently advertised by the Fiji Rugby Union. FRU advertised for coaches for the national Under-16 and Under-18 sides.

“I haven’t applied for any FRU coaching job, but after today I think it’s better that they offer the job to me instead of me applying.”

Saumi attributed RKS’ win in the five out of six grades to condition­ing.

“That’s the thing we have been ac­tivating at RKS and hopefully other teams will step up another gear so that we are on level terms.”

For Saumi it’s about working with RKS and putting in place defined structures that have proved suc­cessful over the past four years.

“We have to work on structures within the schools so when you send the players overseas you have contracts, but the most important thing for me is education and rug­by is just a part of it,” he said.

“Education takes you for life.”

Saumi is a former student of RKS and played then Deans Trophy lev­el rugby as well.

He was a member of the Fiji 7s team in 1995, then coached by Ratu Kitione Vesikula.

In 1996 he signed a contract to play Division 3 rugby with Redruth before joining Cornish rivals Pen­zance & Newlyn (now known as Cornish Pirates).

In 2003 he joined Plymouth Al­bion and eventually became the club’s coach in 2012, the only Fijian to have ever coached in English rugby..

Edited by Osea Bola


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