SPORTS | Super Rugby

Right Call At The Right Time

The timing of interchanges to be made by the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua coaching staff plays a critical role in tonight’s Super Rugby Pacific clash against the Crusaders at the Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch.
20 May 2022 15:30
Right Call At The Right Time
Robust Swire Shipping Fijian Drua loose forward Raikabula Momoedonu during their training session. The former Fijian Under-20 captain has recovered in time to start on the bench in tonight’s clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Fijian Drua

The timing of interchanges to be made by the Swire Shipping Fi­jian Drua coaching staff plays a critical role in tonight’s Super Rugby Pacific clash against the Crusaders at the Orangetheory Stadium in Christch­urch.

Bringing in the substitutes or impact players at the right time will help us stay in the fight against the 10 times Su­per Rugby champions.

Drua head coach Mick Byrne has got a talented group of eight players on the bench. It compromises of five forwards and three backs. It is crucial for Byrne to make his call for changes at the right time.

‘On the day’

This could allow us to stay within touch on the scoreboard and the possi­bility of creating an upset in Christch­urch.

Nothing is impossible and if the Wara­tahs could do it then why can’t the Drua? Former Flying Fijians head coach Ili­vasi ‘Human Skewer’ Tabua, once said that ‘on the day anything can happen.’

For the eight substitutes, they must realise that they also have an important role in the game as well.

That is why they must quickly settle down and get into the game. Stay fo­cused and be consistent in all facets of play.

They must keep their discipline, their composure and take points on offer whether by penalty or drop goals and even tries.

Byrne has made tactical changes in the Drua line-up.

Mission

He opted to start with burly Kaliopasi Uluilakepa on loosehead prop and the much-improved Samuela Tawake at tighthead.

Uluilakepa has represented the Fijian Under-18 and New Zealand U20 defend the 2018 World Rugby U20 title in France. He also played three matches for Wel­lington Lions in the New Zealand NPC (National Provisional Championship) in his first season and currently plays for Northland.

Tawake played for Canterbury and Manuwatu Turbo in the Mitre 10 com­petition before returning to Fiji and played for Naitasiri. At hooker, is Zuriel Togiatama, who played 11 NPC matches for Counties Manukau.

Byrne’s mission is obvious that he wants the two starting prop to create havoc upfront before sending in the ex­perienced Manasa Saulo and Haereiti Hetet.

In the backline fans can expect a kick­ing game in the first few minutes of the game.

Byrne has named Caleb Muntz at first five eighth and Teti Tela has been moved to second five eight.

They are tasked to kick and gain terri­tory for the Drua while at the same time slow the game down.

Also due to the strong Crusaders de­fence they are capable of their tactical place kicks for their wingers to pounce on.

They are our go to men in terms of exiting our red zones and kicking over those much-needed points. Kalaveti Ra­vouvou starts at centre and faces Bray­don Ennor.

On the bench Naitasiri first five eight Tuidraki Samusamuvodre could come in for Muntz while former Reds speed­ster Ilaisa Droasese. Droasese is a natu­ral full-back but plays equally well in the centre.

Again, we’ve got the players to do the job but the timing of them coming into the game is what that matters most.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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