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EDITORIAL: May The Best Teams Win Today

The coveted Coke Zero Deans Trophy is back in the limelight. Today eight schools continue their battle to win it in the Under-18 competition. The history, pride and passion behind
01 Aug 2015 12:23
EDITORIAL: May The Best Teams Win Today

The coveted Coke Zero Deans Trophy is back in the limelight. Today eight schools continue their battle to win it in the Under-18 competition.

The history, pride and passion behind this trophy make it  a popular feature in the calendar of rugby playing schools.

There was a time when Queen Victoria School and Ratu Kadavulevu School dominated the competition. But it has since become so competitive that other schools have carved their names on it too.

QVS won the inaugural competition in 1939 and retained it for the next four years. RKS and Lelean Memorial School joined QVS followed by Marist Brothers High School and Navuso Agricultural School. LDS College surprised everyone winning the trophy in 1986 and Suva Grammar School took the trophy in 2001 and shared it with RKS in 2005.

Ratu Navula College became the first West school to win the trophy last year.

For this year one of these Under-18 eight will  take it: QVS, RKS, LMS, MBHS, Nasinu Secondary School, John Wesley College, Cuvu College and Ratu Navula.

The longest reign was by RKS. It kept the trophy for six consecutive years, from 1980 to 1985.

The fact that two schools from the West are in the knockout stage is indicative of the growing strength of the competition. In the past many who had played in this competition have graduated to club and provincial teams. Some have gone on for national and international honours.

The Deans Trophy is the holy grail of schools rugby. It’s the ultimate prize. Schools go to great lengths to prepare their teams physically and mentally. The trophy  brings out a special spirit and the best in players.

Students, teachers, parents, families, old scholars and friends look forward to this annual spectacle.

The special feature to look out for this year is the MBHS “dream team”. The team has been playing together since Under-14. The theory is that because the players have been together for that long, they have developed a special bond and things now come naturally to them. They understand each and are willing to put their bodies on the line. They face the boys from Matavatucou (QVS). This will be a  cracker because the Victorians have a long, proud history and tradition.

By sunset today we will know the teams that will advance to the semifinals.

The hype that went with the preparation this week has been clouded by the media ban imposed by some teams. The ban is designed to hide the team’s tactics from other teams. It does not make sense that the media is being targeted. Keeping a low profile will not necessarily help the team in its preparation. The teams in question should know that engagement with the media could help them  remove early pre-match jitters.

Training in isolation away from the glare of the media could affect them  negatively. When they are thrust in front of hundreds of screaming fans, it could be unsettling because they might not be used to the public attention on a bigger stage.

Hopefully, the surviving teams will ditch the media ban and have more public interaction through the media.

It will help them face the crowd. May the best teams win today.

 

 

 

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