Selection Surprises Coach Naca Saumi

The Ratu Kadavulevu School Under-18 coach Naca Saumi was surprised when a couple of his players missed selection for the Fijian Under-18 team. Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Saumi questioned the
14 Aug 2018 10:00
Selection Surprises Coach Naca Saumi
Ratu Kadavulevu School Under-18 flanker Philip Murry takes on the Cuvu College tacklers during Powerade Super Deans Chmpionship final at ANZ Stadium, Suva on August 11, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The Ratu Kadavulevu School Under-18 coach Naca Saumi was surprised when a couple of his players missed selection for the Fijian Under-18 team.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Saumi questioned the selection criteria used by the selection panel.

“It’s better that they write to the schools about the critieria they are using,” Saumi said.

Rugby fans also took to social media to ques­tion the selection of the teams;

  • U16- Why more Suva Grammar School stu­dents were selected when they only reached the semi-final. The squad had 7 students from SGS while there were 4 from U16 winners RKS and 5 from losing finallists Queen Victoria School.
  • U18- Questions were asked on the non-se­lection of tough Ratu Kadavulevu School No.8 Alivereti Loaloa.

Saumi said he was surprised that Loaloa, blindside flanker Philip Murray and prop Maikeli Nakavulevu were not selected.

“Loaloa was the one who headed the show during the final although we had our captain Viliame Sokiveta.

“Probably the selectors opted for bulk and went for Eparama Tuvunivono of John Wes­ley and Josateki Tuituba of Cuvu College. But for RKS it’s all about work rate and ethics and that makes the difference.”

He indicated that Murray was injured during the Eastern Zone but recovered and played in the final where he had a good game.

“I have been working with Nakavulevu for the past three years since he was in the un­der-18 team.”

When contacted the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union Association defended the selec­tion of the teams.

FSSRUA executive Biu Colati said they have not received any complaints from the schools.

“There was a panel of selectors that followed the criteria set by the Fiji Rugby Union and we’ve nothing to do with the final selection of the team.”

Colati said the selectors have been monitor­ing the players’ performance right from the zone competitions and not only in the Pow­erade Super Deans national playoffs.

“The selection is based on the consistency of players’ performance right from the zone to the national playoffs.”

Saumi said their teams have also been per­forming consistently right from the zone as well.

“One has to only look at the points’ margin from the zone to the nationals to see how con­sistent we were,” he added.


Fijian U16: Loose head prop: Semi R Qica (RKS), Benjamin Baselala (SGS); Hooker: Easi Tawake (LMS), Vailua Nitz (All Saints), Jeremiah Saumaka (QVS); Tight head prop: Asivorosi Trail (SGS), Jerry Leawere (Na­tabua), Asivorosi Tuisasake (RKS); Left lock: Joji Vuki (SGS), Sean Algar (QVS); Right lock: Daniel Fereti (SGS), Jeniro Wakeham (SGS); Blindside flanker: Orisi Navauvau (NAT), Pete­ro Mailulu (MBHS); Open side flanker: Rusiate Lepaiono (QVS), Mosese Qionimacawa (RKS); Number 8: Maximus Lestro (LMS), Ponipate Naliva (SGS); Halfback: Josateki Savou (QVS), Jonathan (MBHS); First five: Everoni Koroibi­au (RKS), Kalivati Tamani (QVS); Second five: Nemani Smith (SGS), Taniela Senirosi (RKS); Centre: Inia D (Natabua), Mosese Salailagi (Natabua); Wing: Mitchell Simpson (SGS), Ra­vunivadra (MBHS); Fullback: Joshua Canaan Save (QVS), Maika Selema (RKS)

Fijian U18: Loose head prop: Meli Samu­els (RKS), Lasike Tawake (Nasinu); Hooker: Lino Vasuinadi (MBHS), Phillip Oliver Tir­itirisamu (QVS); Tight head prop: Watisoni Cebetilomaiviti (MBHS), Sanaila Ranacika (RKS), Ilaitia Sela (RKS); Left lock: Joeli Matalaweru (RKS), Inoke Ranitu (Ratu Navu­la), Angelo Smith (MBHS); Right lock: Chris Minimbi (MBHS), Jokini Deunimolea (Cuvu); Blindside flanker: Taniela Ramasibana (RKS), Tiri Shaw (MBHS); Openside flanker: Meli Vueti (MBHS), Ilikimi Torosi (RKS); Number 8: Eparama Tuivunivono (John Wesley), Jo­sateki Tuituba (Cuvu College); Halfback: Jone Vatuwaliwali (RKS), Mesake Tove (Cuvu); First five: Osea Waqa (RNC), Sireli Maqala (RKS); Second five: Viliame Sokiveta (RKS), Nathaniel Tupou (MBHS); Centre: Luke Navu­wai (QVS), Solomoni Naiduki (RKS); Wing: In­oke Kurukuruvakatini (Cuvu), Osea Natoga (RKS), Apolosi Nawai (RKS); Fullback: Taitusi Lulusinu (Cuvu), Josua Koro (RKS)

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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