SPORTS

‘Nothing To Lose’

Northland go in as underdogs when they challenge the INKK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Trophy holders Naitasiri 14-days after their Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship round six match at Gatward Park in Korovou.
17 May 2022 13:17
‘Nothing To Lose’
What’s this... AYI Northland’s No.8 Manueli Laqai caught on the act against Tailevu during their Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship clash at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on May 14, 2022. Northland travel to Naluwai on Saturday to play Naitasiri and challenge the prestigious INKK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Trophy. Photo: Leon Lord

Northland go in as underdogs when they challenge the INKK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Trophy holders Naitasiri 14-days after their Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship round six match at Gatward Park in Korovou.

The two neighbouring provincial sides lock horns at Naluwai, Naitasiri, this Saturday for Naitasiri’s fourth defence so far.

“As underdogs we have muscled up and we are not going to be subdued with the same ease, we have nothing to lose,” Northland Rugby Union president Livai Driu told SUNsports yesterday.

Naitasiri, two weeks ago had walked over Northland on their home turf 25-9, last week Northland lost in a close margin 17-12 against Tailevu.

“Last week was our game, we lost our focus and it cost us,” Driu said.

“We are going to lift our game this Saturday, it is the usual challenge.”

Driu said the team were not in camp but they have started preparing for their trip to Naluwai.

Northland had managed only one win in the Skipper competition against Rewa 13-10, they have lost to Nadi 24-18, Namosi 22-14, Suva 33-7 and Nadroga 21-18.

Northland under head coach Isake Katonibau has brought in former Fijian 7s playmaker Livai Ikanikoda who has combined well with halfback Suluka Tunaka.

But an interesting battle looms in the scrums as Northland’s tighthead prop Emmanuel Naciva has been in top form.

Naitasiri are going into their fifth defence this weekend; they have successfully brushed off Namosi, Nadroga, Suva and Rewa.

The Hillmen suffered their first loss of the season to Nadi, last Saturday.

Playing with 13-men for most part of the match, Naitasiri came back from a 24-7 deficit to lose narrowly 32-32.

Naitasiri head coach Ilaitia Tuisese (Jnr) said discipline is an issue that they are going to look into before the Northland clash.

The senior men’s clash kicks off at 3pm.



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