SPORTS

‘Tough Times Ahead’

Suva coach looks for players that can win at Lawaqa Park.
20 Jul 2020 15:49
‘Tough Times Ahead’
Suva rugby players, from left: Meli Kurusaru, Mesulame Dolokoto, Alosio Naduva, Terio Tamani, Livai Ikanikoda and Meli Derenalagi during the launch of the Suva Rugby Union pre season at Bidesi Park on July 18, 2020. Photo: Suva Rugby

Suva rugby coach Sakaraia Labalaba is going to have a tough time selecting his 23 players for the double-header clash against Nadroga at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka on Saturday.

Speaking to SUNsports, Labalaba said the players had proved themselves during training and the warm-up matches they played.

Suva are the defending Skipper Cup Premiership champions while Nadroga are the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy holders.

“Some players have really showed that they deserve a spot in the final 23 squad that will be playing,” Labalaba said.

“We are finding it hard to select and put together a team that can wrestle the prestigious trophy off Nadroga.

“It’s hard to select the best 23 because we have a lot of talented players who have the potential to win us the game.”

In the front row, the Capital City side have seasoned campaigners of Penijamini Makutu, inspirational skipper Sireli Ledua and Vesi Rarawa.

While challenging them for a run on spot are Glasgow Warriors hooker Mesulame Dolokoto and Tevita Ikanivere.

Also boosting the team is the presence of sevens’ stars like Alosio Naduva, Livai Ikanikoda, Meli Derenalagi and Terio Tamani.

Labalaba said they were hoping to select a run on side early this week.

“Our aim is to go down and get that trophy to Suva where it belongs,” he said.

“Our preparations are no different than what we have been doing in the past whenever we go to a game, especially against a team like Nadroga.The preparations are done to match our opponent, especially at a Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy level. “Whenever we prepare we want to go and win the game. This is the first round of the Skipper Cup competition, so we don’t expect much because there will be some areas of our game that will let us down,”he said.

“For Suva it’s all about on and off the field rugby. We have a chunk of young players in the team so our aim is to develop them to become better rugby players.”

Key areas

Labalaba said they had identified some key areas they needed to work on from their friendly game against Tailevu.

“We’ll try to improve and polish those areas before we head down to Sigatoka. Once we improve those areas I believe we are ready to go to Lawaqa Park and give a good game to Nadroga.”

The match kicks off at 3pm.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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