The Match Day Run Sheet

The effort behind the scenes to present eighty (80) minutes of exciting and entertaining rugby is a science of its own. While the HFC Bank Farebrother challenge is Fiji’s premier
14 Oct 2014 17:58
The Match Day Run Sheet

The effort behind the scenes to present eighty (80) minutes of exciting and entertaining rugby is a science of its own. While the HFC Bank Farebrother challenge is Fiji’s premier competition at the provincial level, the rules and regulations must be of IRB standard. Various stakeholders help achieve this and are guided by what is known internally as the “Match Day Run Sheet”. Here’s an insight into the match-day activities last Saturday and the roles and responsibilities of those involved.

6.30am – Team call-time at Rugby House, load and depart for Lawaqa Park. Assigned Transport Officer for the day Bela Gade.

Sale Sorovaki – Match Day Manager.

“I am responsible for the overall running of the game today. My job is to see that there are Liaison Officers (LO) for both teams and that the technical officials’ requirements are facilitated,” said Sale Sorovaki the assigned Match Manager for the day. He said after the game if there is any citing or yellow or red cards he needs to make sure that the required information is in place. Sale is overall in-charge of the event team. “The team is really good – we are all here because we are passionate about the game – the hours are long, yes – but when we see the fans come in and the players put on a good performance – we feel good because we are able to deliver something for the fans to enjoy, Sorovaki says. He said the Run Sheet is something that guides us – and ensures that FRU adheres to global standards of game execution.

8.30am – Team arrives at Lawaqa Park. Match Day Manager receives Change Room Keys and Briefs Lawaqa Park Attendants on the Match Day Requirements. Field Markings including technical zones and media lines are checked. Operations Zone is set up. Field of Play and signage are inspected by the Match Manager and Match Commissioner.

Sanju Reddy – Grounds man – Fiji Sports Council

“Every Saturday I am here from as early as 7.30am – and so too are the rest of the venue staff,” Reddy explains. “ For me I look after the customer’s needs – I check the conditions of the ground and all the required work in it – to ensure that the customer is happy. Born in Nadroga, Reddy has been with the Fiji Sports Council for 15 years now. He proudly says he has two sons, one a chef and one a mechanic. When asked about the Farebrother challenge – Reddy predicts that Nadoga will hold the HFC Bank Farebrother Trophy for an additional five (5) years. Reddy says Nadroga is one of the best in the country. “They use my grounds and I have seen the hard work they put into their preparations every day,” he mentioned. “The first thing I do when I get in – is check the ground conditions, then start the ground set-up, markings, props and required seating arrangements for officials, suppliers and the media – then I do spot checks in the washrooms around the venue – and eventually help out with security when the gates open,” he said.

 10.00am – Risk Management Meeting – FEA, NFA, WAF and FPF.

Ethel Mohammed – St John’s Registered Nurse.

“I’ve worked on six (6) challenges so far and commute with my team from Suva every Saturday,” Mohammed said. “My accompanying team need to be senior staff, must be well trained and must know the skills of rugby,” she said. “The experience of the team has been really good so far – some of the situations we have encountered on the field have been challenging but most of it is not new to us – and all cases that have come through us we have been able to stabilize with the assistance and guidance as well of the Match Day Doctor,” Mohammed explained.

 10.40am – Team Managers Meeting

12.00pm – Gates Open

A group of food hawkers line the entrance to Lawaqa Park on Saturday without fail. Business is lucrative they say – even though they offer almost the same products.

Taniela Nacalucalu – Food Hawker

“I have been selling lemon Juice and roti since the semi-finals between of the Skipper Cup,” explains

Taniela Nacalucalu of Naqalimare, Navosa. “Two weeks on and seeing the lucrative returns I decided to buy myself a juice dispenser similar to that of the others (hawkers) but with bigger capacity and volume,” he said. “I can average $250 dollars every Saturday and this supplements my weekly income from corn sales at the Lautoka market. “I have five (5) children and my wife to support and have been able to save at least $70 every week apart from meeting the weekly household expenses,” he added.

Jese Gade – Manager of the BLK Rugby Shop in Fiji.

“We started ground sales of the BLK merchandise from the semifinals of the Skipper Cup,” Gade explained. “The last few challenges we have had really good in terms of our sales; especially the replica uniforms and people have really commented on the quality of the items,” he said. Gade said the people of Nadroga have come on full force to buy jerseys as BLK is also a sponsor of the Nadroga Team. “We have a team of four (4) that come down to set up and run sales every Saturday and our sales usually average over $4000 dollars. “After next week’s game – all these items will be available at our shop in Lautoka,” Gade said.

1.30pm – Vatukoula Team Arrives

Peni Takubu – Liaison Officer for the Vatukoula Team

“My role today was Liaison Officer (LO) for the Vatukoula Team,” Takubu explains. “Apart from that I also oversee the financial arrangements for the day – like ticketing, hiring of props and items that the operations and technical teams need – as it is important that I verify this before the final reconciliation with the Fiji Sports Council,” he said. “Come games time I am a try-spotter for the Statistics Officer as well. Takubu, an Accounts Clerk with FRU says you cannot be in the office to really understand what is happening in the field – you have to get into operations to understand and appreciate what is required. When asked about the working team he said that the working team is united in all that it does. “The highlight for me has been the way we have bonded and the way we work as a team – despite the hours and the challenges – we have learnt to really stick together,” Takubu added.

1.45pm – Nadroga Team Arrives

Alipate Ratulevu – Liaison Officer for the Nadroga Team

“My role today was Liaison Officer (LO) for the BLK Nadroga team and this was from the moment they arrived at the venue, the kick off and after the game,” Ratulevu explained. “It was a baptism of fire for me during the Pacific Nations Cup in June,” the Senior IT Officer for FRU said when asked about his experience in the LO roles on game-day. “I have come to appreciate all that happens behind the scene because prior to this my focus was just on the game. “There’s a lot that’s involved that we take for granted as players, spectators and fans. “I have also observed the need to have an electronic system in place for instance checks and to also upload game data and statistics and we are now working on getting this system up and running next year,” Ratulevu explained. Having just completed six months with the FRU, Ratulevu says that he is enjoying every bit of it. “We are going through our phases – however it is a unique place to work in because over 800 thousand people in Fiji have a vested interest in this organisation.

2.47pm – Match Ball place on the Field of Play by HFC Bank Executive

Rokotuibau Natautava – HFC Marketing Team

“For the HFC marketing team it’s been exciting to have HFC Bank to commit to such for a property,” Natautava said. “It’s a lot of hours and hard work but worth all the effort and such a learning experience given that this is the only just the first year of the Consortium Sponsorship to FRU. He said preparation wise – everything begins on the first day of the week. “On game day we are on the ground at 6.00am to oversee the set up of signage as per the signage map. “We then liaise with the FRU marketing team to go through what is in place for that particular day,” he added. “I have also observed that the activation for the HFC Bank team (every Saturday) has really brought us together and communication has been one the biggest takeaway for me going into this same event next year.

3.00pm – Kick Off

Mr Viliame Kanatabua – Match Commissioner

“No big issues today and this is credit to the good relationship we have built with the Union Officials,” Kanatabua explains. “And this has made my duties much easier today,” he added. “The Match Manager today also knows his job well. “He walks around with ease and doesn’t impose himself on anyone,” he said. “My entire team members have peformed their duties exceptionally well today; from this morning our driver was up from 3.00am and stuck to the schedule, the rest had to catch the team at Lami Town before we finally left for Lawaqa Park. “Given where I live in Lomaivuna , I had to be up by 1.30am this morning – as my only form of transport was with the market vendors coming into Suva for their Saturday sales. “We left Lomaivuna at around 2.00am and reached Suva at 3.15am; I then headed to FRU and waited for the FRU bus for about three (3) hours,” Kunatuba explained. “This is what the job and role requires,” Kanatabua added.

3.40pm – Half Time Activation

Alex Wilson – Marketing and Sponsor Liaison

“I was designated by the Marketing Team to be Marketing and Sponsor Liaison today and in this case working the HFC Bank Marketing Team on their activation that being the FOP signage, the half time promotions and also the ceremonies where the sponsors are involved,” Wilson explained. “I also facilitated our suppliers like Coca Cola – in terms of their tickets and access and their set up for the teams and for the operations crew. “I start my preparations for the day very early on Saturday – sorting out the communications gear, the sponsors packs and tickets, then there’s the travel, the brief on site, the set up, the execution and then the de-brief and the set down,” he said. “The Run Sheet guides us – and it’s important that you space yourself – for you to maintain the same form throughout the day. “The response has been really good from the sponsor (HFC Bank) – they have really taken ownership of their property – they have added more value and put in extra every week. “We had the launch at the Holiday Inn, the Officials Kits, the Team Kits, the half-time promotions – today we saw HFC Bank giveaway new accounts to children with a deposit of $50 dollars and their team have been so easy to work with,” Wilson explained. Personally – just seeing the reaction of the players after each match – just being able to meet their expectations on the way we deliver the game; the program, the sponsor’s activation, the venue set up and the atmosphere on the ground is very satisfying. “This coming Saturday will end of a high note – and all eyes are on BLK Nadroga’s winning form, Wilson added.

3.50pm – Kick Off – 2nd Half

Inoke Kacilala – Attaché (from the Marist Sports Academy)

“I have learnt the importance of Time Management,” says Kacilala. “I have been able to experience firsthand what we learn in school and also realise that the hours can be quite demanding. “ I plan to go on and study physiotherapy – so this attachment has been really worthwhile for me.   “The game really depends on how well we are organized and how well we set up for it,” Kacilala observes. “Today I assisted the marketing team, the liaison officers and technical officials,” he added.

Mustapha William Fall – Attaché (from the Marist Sports Academy)

“I’ve learnt a lot of things these last few weeks especially in the preparation of matches and all that happens behind the scene before the match take place,” Fall said. “I play rugby a lot but really didn’t know that there are roles like the Match Commissioner, the Citing Commissioner that are required. “And this is a good experience as I have seen the importance of being organized before the match takes place,” the 4 time Coke Games medalist said. I’ve played for the MBHS Under 18 Team and it I would embrace the opportunity to make it into one of Fiji’s elite teams, Fall said.

4.30pm – Full time

Aseri Tabuawaiwai – Assistant Match Day Manager

“Today I was the Assistant Match Manager – working closely with Sale who is also in line training for the for the upcoming Pacific Rugby Cup Games in Fiji next year,” Tabuawaiwai said. “As Senior Operations Officer – my team is responsible for the development of the Match Day Run Sheet and once this is ready we send this out to all our internal and external stakeholders.   “All this as well has been very new for me – I’ve had to throw myself into the PNC we hosted in June and it’s been uphill all the way,” said Tabuawaiwai who joined the FRU five (5) months ago. All our events must comply with IRB standards and our run sheets are designed in this framework. “The management of our stakeholders is so important and more importantly communication with them. The hours are long – as we have to plan from Monday to Friday, work on other tasks and then it’s a whole day on Saturday – so yes – the hours can be quite demanding. “The team has been fantastic and we have rotated roles and also done line training for the office staff – so they get a sense and a feel of what is required on the rugby field,” Tabuawaiwai added.



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