Opinion

EDITORIAL: Crucial Saturday

This Saturday is a crucial one for two of our sporting teams. Firstly, the Fijian Airways Drua in their must-win clash against Sydney Rays in the Australia National Rugby Championship.
27 Oct 2017 11:42
EDITORIAL: Crucial Saturday
Fijian Airways Drua training on October 24, 2017.

This Saturday is a crucial one for two of our sporting teams.

Firstly, the Fijian Airways Drua in their must-win clash against Sydney Rays in the Australia National Rugby Championship.

Then our Vodafone Fijian Bati in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup opener against the United States of America in Townsville, Australia.

As we’re known as a sporting nation, the Drua and the Bati are definitely counting on us to be there for them.

That is as a spectator to cheer them on or to stand in the gap and remember them in our daily prayers.

Earlier this week Drua head coach Senirusi Seruvakula has called on fans to come out in numbers to the ANZ Stadium, Suva on Saturday evening to cheer them on. The Drua need at least a bonus point win, for a top four finish in the NRC which means securing a semifinal berth.

Not bad for a side that is making their debut in the NRC.

To achieve this will be a big boost for Fijian Rugby especially for our local based players who now have the chance to play in a much higher and competitive level. The taste of professionalism and the opportunity to rub shoulders with Super Rugby players, week in and week out is surely going to see a lift in the standard of play in the Skipper Cup, Vodafone Vanua Challenge, HFC Farebrother Challenge and the Bainimarama Challenge competitions.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee said the benefits of having one of our teams playing in the NRC was not going to be seen overnight but over a period of time.

For the NRC, let’s be reminded that the Australians are determined to deny us that semi-final spot and our presence at the stadium is going to motivate our local-based players to rise to the occasion and show what they are capable of.

So let’s keep Saturday evening free and make it a point to be at the stadium for the Drua when it comes to the 6.30pm kick-off time.

Impossible is Nothing

A few hours later on Saturday night, our Fijian Bati are going to take on USA.

According to expert analysis from Australian newspapers like the Daily Telegraph, the Kevin Naiqama-led side are going to find it harder to make it past the pool stages and if they do then a much greater task is ahead of them in the Cup quarterfinal. This is where they’re likely to face New Zealand, Tonga or Samoa.

Think of it. This is nothing new to our Fijian Bati.

In 2008 RLWC, they defied all odds to thrash fourth-ranked France to march into the Cup semi-finals. Again in 2013, they thumped the highly fancied Samoans in London during the quarters to again reach the semis.

Although the Bati may have missed the services of Jayson Bukuya, Daniel Saifiti and Tariq Sims due to injuries they’ve got talented players from within the NRL circles, who head coach Mick Potter had earlier indicated, are going to cause a surprise in the World Cup.

Nothing is impossible for the Bati but let’s support them in this so-called mission impossible by the Australian press.

Feedback:  leone.cabenatabua@fijisun.com.fj



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