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Editorial: Fantastic Start,But Let’s Back Fijian Drua This Weekend

Editorial: Fantastic Start,But Let’s Back Fijian Drua This Weekend
September 03
10:26 2018

Last Saturday more than 3000 spectators flocked to Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, to cheer on the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua as they scored a bonus point win over Melbourne Rising.
The 40-17 scoreline was the start the Senirusi Seruvakula-coached side needed for the seven-week Australian National Rugby Championship campaign.
This Saturday, they face Brisbane City at Churchill Park in Lautoka and the onus is now on Western fans to be there in full force to back our young Fijian Drua brigade.
The tenacious defence, speed and attacking rugby displayed by the Fijians was worth much, much more than the $10 fans paid for their tickets.
This was coupled with the high level of discipline displayed by the players because there were no yellow cards flashed – a far cry when compared with last year’s debut NRC performance.
The young front row of Eroni Mawi, Tuvere Vugakoro Veremalua and Luke Tagi held their own, despite facing Super Rugby players.
The tireless performance of Albert Tuisue and Peni Naulago at locks and ball hunters led by captain Mosese Voka, Filimoni Seru and Eremasi Radrodro being almost everywhere hustling the opposition were good signs for the Fijian Drua.
The slick combination of halfback Frank Lomani and first five-eighth Alivereti Veitokani is beginning to gel as they showed by controlling the tempo of the game. Strong-running inside centre Cyril Reece and Poasa Waqanibau were superb in defence and creating space for wingers Avete Daveta and Levani Kurumudu to run for the line.
Apisalome Waqatabu provided a safe pair of hands at the back as he read the game well and exploited gaps in the Rising defence.
This week it’s going to be another tough battle against Brisbane City, which brings in veteran Wallabies first five-eighth Quade Cooper, centre Karmichael Hunt and Fijian-born winger Emori Waqa.
Cooper, a 58-Test veteran, and Hunt are trying to win back their spot in the Wallabies and an impressive performance against Fijian Drua is the only way for them to get back into Michael Cheika’s books.
Other promising players for City are halfback Moses Sorovi, who this week extended his stay with the Queensland Reds, along with hooker Ruan Smith.
It’s going to be another explosive affair, but the challenge is for fans to be at the ground to back our Fijian Drua.
These youngsters are the future of Fiji Rugby and our presence at ground on Saturday is surely going to boost their morale as they target another bonus-point win.
Nothing is impossible.

NO EXCUSES GAMEL
The excuses given by Vodafone Fijian football coach Christophe Gamel on the fitness state of the players before the friendly match against Solomon Islands on Wednesday is not acceptable.
It’s like Gamel has already given up on winning the game even before it starts.
How poor is that and how demoralising is it for our players who are already in camp?
So far, we’ve already lost the three friendly matches we’ve played this year.
• March 22: Philippines 3-2 Fiji
• March 24: Kaya FC 3-2 Fiji
• July 5: Malaysia 1-0 Fiji
But again this does not warrant Gamel’s lame excuses or pushing the blame onto some else.
Sitting there and complaining is not going to get the team anywhere.
As head coach the buck stops with him and he has to go out of his way to make things happen for the team.
If he can’t do that, then it is best to get in someone who can take Fiji Football to greater heights.
LEONE CABENATABUA
Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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