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Editorial: Rugby’s A Winner These Days Of Excitement

Our national sport is in for a bigger, brighter and better times ahead. It has been a bumper 2017 so far and fans could not be happier in the direction
06 Aug 2017 11:05
Editorial: Rugby’s A Winner These Days Of Excitement

Our national sport is in for a bigger, brighter and better times ahead.

It has been a bumper 2017 so far and fans could not be happier in the direction rugby is heading.

Our Vodafone Flying Fijians had set the pace winning four of the five June internationals – against Italy, Scotland, Tonga and Samoa.

And the icing on this cake was also qualifying for the2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Our local schools’ competition carries on the momentum and there was a never a dull moment week in week out since.

The intensity of the competition resulted in the changing of the guard, which clearly shows growth, depth and development in our rugby.

First, it was Nadroga finally losing grip of the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge Trophy going down to Suva 24-23 at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, on July 29.

And one week later the capital city reign came to an abrupt end losing to Namosi 18-20 at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on Friday night.

The team, used to be regarded as one of the minnows, is now one of the best sides playing in the big league.

The last time they won the prized silverware was 15 years ago beating Ovalau, but lost it a week later to Nadi.

They now have a chance to defend the title on Saturday and keep it for 2017. Or there could be another changing of the guard when they play Rewa in the last challenge of the season.

The Rewa rugby team defied the odds beating Vodafone Vanua Challenge champions Navosa 26-24 at Lawaqa Park yesterday.

As winner of the 2017 HFC Bank Ratu Josaia Bainimarama Shield, Rewa has a chance to capture the silverware for the first time.

This is another big challenge for the Ro Alivereti Doviverata–coached team who already earned themselves a place in the Skipper Cup competition as one of the top eight teams next year.

Yesterday, the Coke Zero Deans Trophy semifinals at the ANZ Stadium in Suva lived up to expectations.

The buzz throughout the week was the influence of Under-18 newcomers, Cuvu College of Nadroga and St John’s College of Ovalau.

Although they lost to eventual finalists Ratu Kadavulevu and Queen Victoria School, the future looks brighter for the teams and the players.

Vodafone Flying Fijians coach John McKee and Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber have a wide range and competitive field to choose from for international tournaments.

Our local players have lived up to the billing as potential Flying Fijians and they have a chance to prove their worth in the Australia National Rugby Championship, which starts next month.

Apart from the Coke Zero Deans finals and the last HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge, we have more rugby to look forward to in September.

Osea Bola

Feedback: delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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