Sunvoice

Editorial: Revised Rugby Format Produces Justified Result

The Fiji Rugby Union must be commended for restructuring the competition format in 2017. Not only does it provide good competition for the teams involved it also augurs well for
30 Jul 2017 18:27
Editorial: Revised Rugby Format Produces Justified Result

The Fiji Rugby Union must be commended for restructuring the competition format in 2017.

Not only does it provide good competition for the teams involved it also augurs well for the development of our national sport.

The previously neglected B-Division competition takes a new lease of life with the rebranded and revamped Vodafone Vanua Challenge.

Although Rewa and Navosa have been promoted to the major division in 2018, they were given more competition time before they played the big league in the Skipper Cup competition.

The introduction of the HFC Bank Bainimarama Shield Challenge keeps the four Vodafone Vanua Challenge semifinalists occupied for three weeks since the final was played on July 14.

Navosa has been defending the Bainimarama Shield after defeating Ovalau and Lautoka, and will play Rewa in the final challenge on Saturday.

The teams are not only in competition mode but get monetary gains compliments of sponsor HFC Bank.

And to top it off the winner of the Bainimarama Shield will be the fourth team to compete for the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge with the winner getting $10,000.

This should provide more competition and an incentive for teams playing in the 2018 Vodafone Vanua Challenge. Unlike before where teams go through the promotion/ relegation games, the direct entry is justified.

Newly relegated Northland and Macuata have another chance to reclaim their status in the major division and they need to be in the top two positions in 2018.

Likewise, the competition format for the Skipper Cup where only eight teams took part, was good.

Unlike before where the teams play with earnest to keep their spot in the top league in the latter part of the rounds, the competition this year was fierce as teams battled from the start to stay alive.

This resulted in the HFC Bank Farebrother being well competed and deservedly by the four semifinalists – Namosi, Suva, Naitasiri and defending champions Nadroga.

Naitasiri battled hard and earned praise before going down 26–19 in the first challenge.

And yesterday Suva ended Nadroga’s reign with a 24–23 victory at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.

This is a good sign because for so long Nadroga has been the power base of rugby in Fiji.

The Nadroga Rugby team is the most successful and greatest provincial rugby team in Fijian rugby history.

As of July 22, 2017 they have retained Fiji rugby’s premier trophy, the Farebrother-Sullivan Cup, for a record 111 times since the inception of the FarebrotherSullivan challenge.

The team held the Farebrother Sullivan Challenge for a record nine years in a row from 1971.

The team known as the “Stallions” have held the Fiji Rugby Union Cup (under various sponsorship names) a record 26 times. Nadroga has contributed the highest number of rugby players to the Vodafone Fijian 15s and 7s teams than any other district.

But Suva has now set the pace and will defend the silverware against Namosi and the Bainimarama Shield champion.

A revised competition has brought the desired results.

 

OSEA BOLA

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: