SPORTS

Suva And Nadroga Tipped To Win Skipper Cup Semis

The unbeaten Suva rugby side face a tough challenge when they take on Nadi in the first semi-final. The Solomone Nute- coached side will have to put last Friday’s 33-19 win over Nadi behind them or else they are in for a shocker.
13 Jun 2019 15:58
Suva And Nadroga Tipped To Win Skipper Cup Semis
Jack’s Nadi flanker and captain Jolame Luvevou scores a try against BLK Nadroga during the Skipper Cup clash at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka. Photo: WaiseaNasokia

Analysis:

Yes, this Saturday is going to determine whether Suva continue on their journey to defend the Skipper Cup Premiership title or are they going to have a new winner this year.

After seven rounds of competition, the defending champions have maintained an unbeaten run while last year’s finalists Nadroga are out to restore lost glory.

So let’s take a look at how the semi-final teams are shaping up for Saturday.

SUVA’S BIG TEST

The unbeaten Suva rugby side face a tough challenge when they take on Nadi in the first semi-final.  The Solomone Nute- coached side will have to put last Friday’s 33-19 win over Nadi behind them or else they are in for a shocker.

Nadi Rugby Union treasurer Jeff Tamata is confident that their young brigade will be able to create an upset and for them to make it to the final.

He has called on the vanua o Nadi and all their fans to be at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori on Saturday, to ‘rock Suva’s boat’.

As defending champions, the Suva rugby side have shown that they have depth in their squad.

That has been their strength throughout the season when majority of their players left either to play for the Swire Shipping Fijian Latu side or the Fijian Warriors.

After yesterday’s Escott Shield semi-finals, the Suva players are going to have their training run today under the watchful eyes of Nute and forwards coach Jope Tuikabe.

The Capital City side should start as favourites especially when they have players who are able to play under extreme pressure and be able to rise to the occasion.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

  •  Meli Kurisaru (Suva): A great tactical kicker and has the ability to create something out of nothing. A reliable goal kicker and Suva can count on him when it comes to converting those penalties or conversions into points.
  • Jiuta Takubu (Suva): Played a grand game at No.8 or at blindside flanker and his ability to read the game has time and again benefitted Suva during the competition.
  • Jolame Luvevou (Nadi): Powerful flanker with his storming runs from the base of the scrum, has led to many of Nadi’s tries during the Skipper Cup comp. He could do a lot damage if given an inch.
  • Kitione Taliga (Nadi): If Kiti settles in well than Suva are going to be in for a tough time. A great kicker, lots of speed to burn plus those sidesteps that could see him become a game breaker.
TIP: Close win to Suva      

 

STALLIONS FAVOURITES

The Naitasiri rugby side must lift their game if they are stand a chance of beating Nadroga at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka on Saturday.

The Hillmen have not been able to find their form and were even held to a 15-15 draw by Tailevu last Saturday.

Former Naitasiri hooker Akuila Tuinasau had earlier said that they must focus on their pick and drive which is their strength and avoid taking on the opposition’s bigger forwards.

On the other hand after a slow start, the Stallions have found their form but that does not mean that they are unbeatable as they had a lucky escape against Namosi.

Playing in front of their fans could be the much-needed catalyst in their campaign.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Seremaia Naureure (Naitasiri): A tough hooker who is going to lead the charge. Needs to improve on his lineout throws but overall he’s an asset to the team especially when the going gets tough.
  • Paula Tiko (Naitasiri): This veteran centre turned winger could turn things around if given room to work. He knows what to expect from Nadroga and should be able to deliver the goods if supported well.
  • Amenoni Nasilasila (Nadroga): Great at fullback and reads the game well. An individual player who knows his way to the tryline.
  • Emosi Vucago (Nadroga): He provides the spark that ignites the Nadroga side. After two losses at the start of the comp, Vucago came in to turn things around and now they are two steps away from winning it.
TIP: Nadroga to win by 15 points 

 

OTHER SEMI-FINALS

Skipper Cup (Women): Nadroga v Naitasiri, Suva v Tailevu

Skipper Cup (U19): Naitasiri v Nadi, Nadroga v Suva.

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