Fiji Sports

Ratuva holds key to secure turnovers

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND. Flying Fijians openside flanker Aca Ratuva will hold the key to turnover possession and offset the powerful New Zealand Maoris in the battle up front.
11 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND. Flying Fijians openside flanker Aca Ratuva will hold the key to turnover possession and offset the powerful New Zealand Maoris in the battle up front.
Ratuva who had an outstanding game at number seven against Samoa last Saturday will be at war against Chiefs Super 14 flankers Liam Messam and Tanerau Latimer.
The Nadroga ball hunter will face a baptism of fire against the two former New Zealand sevens stars to try and set the platform for the backline. Ratuva yesterday acknowledged Fiji rugby’s problems in the forwards and said they wanted a change against the experienced Maori lineup.
He said they have been working on their weakness after questions were asked by Samoa in the forwards and set pieces last week.
“That’s our main concern this week to do the job upfront,” Ratuva said.
“We have done a bit of homework at the beginning of the week, from the ruck and set pieces and we are ready to take on the Maoris.’’
“There is still a little concern in the forwards but it’s just to tidy up bits and pieces. We have done that in training and we have ironed out some areas of concern.”
While New Zealand Maoris has experience in its forward pack, the national side will rely on the likes of rugged number eight Netani Talei, Semisi Naevo and new recruit Sailosi Rabonaqica to steal possession.
Scrums and lineouts were the main areas of concern against Samoa and the national team management has focused its attention on the set piece area.
“There is not much difference just the level of competition they play in the Super 14 which is a very strong competition compared to our local competition there is a big gap but if we put everything together physically, spiritually and mentally then anything is possible,” Ratuva said.
“We still have the core of the team from the World Cup and the Samoa game was the first one and hopefully things will turn right this week.”
Ratuva made his debut against the Maoris and he is after a win this time around.
His ability to contest the breakdowns helped him spend three seasons with T14 club Agen before joining Massey.
The younger brother of former Blues lock Vula Maimuri was a regular in Wayne Pivac’s squad in 2005.
The 29-year-old scored a try against the Junior All Blacks and the Wallabies last year and is expected to be at the top of his game.



Five square Da Bang Sale


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Total
Covid 19 - SPC
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper