Analysis: Nadroga Losing Rugby Grip

Nadroga is the most success­ful provincial rugby team in Fiji- that’s an undisput­able fact. And no one can also deny the fact they have defended the Fiji Rugby premier trophy,
03 Aug 2018 11:05
Analysis: Nadroga Losing Rugby Grip
BLK Nadroga’s Ratunaisa Navuma on the attack against QAQA Naitasiri in the semi-final of the Skipper Cup Premiership at the Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Nadroga is the most success­ful provincial rugby team in Fiji- that’s an undisput­able fact.

And no one can also deny the fact they have defended the Fiji Rugby premier trophy, now named the HFC Bank Farebrother Trophy, more than 80 times and defended the coveted silverware for rugby for a record 9 years in-a-row from 1971 to 1979.

Furthermore no other districts has been a constant feeder to the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians over the years than Nadroga because they have the manpower and better structured organisation than the rest.

But they seem to be losing grip on their dominance with no silver­ware in the Nadroga Rugby cabinet at the Talenavuruvuru, the provin­cial meeting house in Sigatoka.

It’s quite rare for the provincial rugby powerhouse to have no titles in a single year.

The slide started last year when the Stallions lost the HFC Bank Farebrother Trophy losing 23-24 to Suva at Lawaqa Park.

Last month, the Stallions lost the Skipper Cup Premiership again to Suva 35-36 at the ANZ Stadium.

The Nadroga women and Under-20 also failed to impress with Malolo and Namosi winning respectively.

This is why the third challenge of the HFC Bank Farebrother Trophy against holders QAQA Naitasiri at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori holds special significance.

The Rupeni Nasiga-captained BLK Nadroga has one last shot to refill their Nadroga Rugby cabinet this Saturday.

Team manager Peni Cabealotu said they will be in full force to wrestle the trophy from the High­landers.

“We have one last shot at refilling our cabinet this Saturday. We lost the Skipper Cup Premiership this year and the Farebrother last year which mean we have nothing at Talenavuruvu in 2018,” Cabealotu said.

“The match is so crucial for us and it will be an uphill battle play­ing Naitasiri.”

Naitasiri will have the upper hand playing on their own turf and some oldies from the Team of 1998, which won the same trophy at La­waqa Park, helping the coaching staff at Navuso.

Nadroga came out on top the last time the two met in the Skipper Cup Premiership semifinal win­ning 52-19 last month.

The sides have named their 23 players to match the occasion. It’s a match billed as the game to watch and should fittingly bring the do­mestic competition to a close be­fore the Australian National Rug­by Championship kicks off next month.

It should be a crackerjack, a must-see, you can’t afford to miss it. Be there to see whether coveted silver­ware heads west bound to Talena­vuruvuru or cross the Rewa river to Navuso.


Nadroga– 1 Sanaila Nahuto, 2 Ra­tunaisa Navuma , 3 Apete Sala­waqavuka, 4 Rupeni Nasiga ©, 5 Ulaiasi Lawavou, 6 Jone avori, 7 Sevuloni Tawake, 8 Sailosi Rabona­qica, 9 SakiusaGavidi, 10 Jiuta Lu­tumailagi, 11 Aporosa Tabulawaki, 12 Josese Kurokavu, 13 Sakiusa Na­kalevu 14 Tuiba Batiratu, 15 Mitieli Nacagilevu.

Bench: 16 Ratu Veremalua Vuga­koto, 17 Jone Koroduadua, 18 Sete­fano Somoca, 19 Timoci Narube, 20 Mosese Tawae, 21 Are Lelekula, 22 Saiasi Mataitoga, 23 Akariva Na­bati.


1 Joeli Veitayaki, 2 Seremaia Nau­reure, 3 Mosese Ducivaki, 4 Necani Nawaqadau, 5 Filimone Seru, 6 Ve­taia Tiko, 7 Maciu Vakacabeqoli, 8 Ratu Inoke Tuisese, 10 Livai Ikan­ikoda, 10 Frank Lomani, 11 Sakeo Railoa, 12, Vilikesa Qio, 13 Aisa­lome Vota, 14 Nasoni Roko, 15 Meli Nakarawa.

Bench: 16 Mosese Gavidi, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18, Apakuki Naivanawalu, 19 Joseva Tawake, 20 Api Bogidrau, 21Emosi Vunivosa, 22 Tomasi Cama Ratu, 23 Kini Douglas.


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