Sunvoice

Nothing But Rugby, Rugby And Super Rugby

Security checks before the arrival of the two big Super Rugby teams this week at the Nausori International Airport were tighter compared to the arrival of their Prime Minister, John
01 Jul 2016 09:49
Nothing But  Rugby, Rugby  And Super Rugby
Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo (left) with Captain Kieran Read at Nausori Air-Port yesterday. Crusaders will face Chief at ANZ Stadium on Friday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

Security checks before the arrival of the two big Super Rugby teams this week at the Nausori International Airport were tighter compared to the arrival of their Prime Minister, John Key.

Hundreds of Gallagher Chiefs and BNZ Crusaders fans waited, waved and cheered on their heroes. Some came on both days when the teams arrived (Tuesday and Wednesday) – decked out in both colours.

Talk around the tanoa, with taxi drivers, hair salons and of course on social media is rugby, Super Rugby and more rugby.

A letter writer even noted: “So many of our people complain about the cost of living, but they still can afford a ticket for super rugby.”

Why not? This is a first for Fiji.

The Fijian Government has invested $2.3million to make today happen. If all goes according to plan, Fijian rugby fans can expect more world class matches.

On Wednesday when Todd Blackadder and his side arrived, the crowd outside the arrival terminal was strategically positioned near the team bus.

Each player who marched out had his name called out.  As the players turn to acknowledge their fans, smartphones and tablets were ready to roll for selfies and the sorts.

A BNZ Crusaders winger, the big Nemani Nadolo held up the side at the airport.

He acknowledged the fans and took time to sign autographs and of course – selfies. Even at their Holiday Inn camp, Nadolo came out to meet with family, friends and fans.

Despite this being a Chiefs home game, the BNZ Crusaders feel more at home with more Fijian boys in the side.

Yasawa man Seta Tamanivalu is the lone Fijian to feature for the Chiefs today.

The Crusaders on the other hand have at least three Fijians.

Assistant Coach, Tabai Matson, winger Jone Macilai and Nadolo are sure to draw a crowd.

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder described it well: “It feels like we are at home and it actually feels like we are the home team – we’ve always had great support in Fiji. Having two Fijian players is great and we’ve had some great Fijian players over the years.”

Blackadder expects the Fijian boys to be focussed and play the best rugby of their lives.

“That’s what we are hoping – especially in front of their home crowd, in front of their families, we are expecting them to go and enjoy themselves.”

The Fijian hospitality has been welcomed by both sides. The Chiefs who are based out of Lami’s Novotel Hotel paid a visit to the nearby Lami Convenant School yesterday.

The Crusaders were at Nasinu Gospel School where players and management were presented with a Bible.

Tonight will certainly be an exciting spectacle. May the best team win.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 

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