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ICE, JASA FOR HK

Former Samoan rugby 7s coach, Viliamu Punivalu believes the inclusion of Isake ‘Ice’ Katonibau will boost the Vodafone Fijian 7s forwards for the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments of the
29 Mar 2017 13:23
ICE, JASA FOR HK
Former Samoa 7s coach Viliamu Punivalu with son William Punivalu yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Former Samoan rugby 7s coach, Viliamu Punivalu believes the inclusion of Isake ‘Ice’ Katonibau will boost the Vodafone Fijian 7s forwards for the Hong Kong and Singapore tournaments of the World Sevens Series.

Katonibau along with Jasa Veremalua were the two senior players who have forced their way back into the 14-member squad that was announced yesterday.

“Isake can absorb pressure and nothing bothers him,” Punivalu said.

“You will always see him smiling no matter how hard the game is, he will always be smiling that shows his character.”

He also said that Katonibau’s leadership skills will assist captain, Osea Kolinisau.

“Whether Isake starts on the bench or in the starting line up having him there will be good.”

Punivalu is in the country with his family and works as a resident engineer for a consulting New Zealand company GHD that’s currently doing upgrading works at the Rotuma airport.

Punivalu is also coaching the Uluinakau 7s team.

Under his guidance Uluinakau for the first time reached the semi-final of the 2017 Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament where they were bundled out by eventual winners Tabadamu.

He was also impressed with the work rate of upcoming national 7s forward Setareki Bituniyata.

“Seta is a young player but I see he has the ability to be a leader as well. He has matured and I reckoned he is going to be one good player if he keeps on moving forward and look after himself by managing his injuries well.

“I haven’t seen any player at his age that can do so many things on the field because he’s so aggressive in defence and with ball in hand.

“I always tell Seta the importance of keeping possession and giving 100 percent performance on the field by just emptying the tank,” he added.

Following the successful finish of the Marist 7s tournament, Punivalu finally figured out why Fiji were always successful in Hong Kong.

“I always wonder why Fiji wins in Hong Kong now I know.

“It’s because of the Marist tournament. It is one of the hardest tournaments I have ever been to.

“Marist 7s is hard you just have two hours to recover in game intervals. Fiji will do well, they have a good squad.

“The only thing that’s missing is players clicking as a team but that’s all about becoming a good team. On the day if they click then it will be great,” he added.

The team will depart for Hong Kong on Thursday.

 

Vodafone Fijian 7s 14-member squad:

Mesulame Kunavula, Kalione Nasoko, Setareki Bituniyata, Jasa Veremalua, Apisai Domolailai, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Amenoni Nasilasila, Vatemo Ravouvou, Osea Kolinisau, Joeli Lutumailagi, Nacanieli Labalaba, Isake Katonibau.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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