Rugby | Sunvoice

Editorial: Fans play big role, our rugby continue to grow and prosper

At times they decide the outcome of the game by being on the sidelines or the grandstands cheering for their teams. They are the very reason why we play the
28 Oct 2018 12:56
Editorial: Fans play big role, our rugby continue to grow and prosper
Action from the Drua-Queensland Country match at Churchill Park, Lautoka on October 27, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

At times they decide the outcome of the game by being on the sidelines or the grandstands cheering for their teams.

They are the very reason why we play the game and why the game has survived since Reverend William Webb Ellis, an English Anglican clergyman, invented the game while a pupil at Rugby School, England in 1823.

We have come a long way since and we have made it our national sport and are well known for our prowess and the special brand of rugby that we play.

Fijians around the world carry on our rugby tradition by being there for our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team on the World Sevens Series.

Our fans again were the most visible and dominated attendance at the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, USA in July.

Yesterday, fans responded to the call and turned up in full force to support the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

It was the first time we hosted a home semifinal and final and we clinched the Australian National Rugby Championship title.

We also have the Horan-Little Shield and pivot Alivereti Veitokani was named 2018 NRC Rising Star.

This is a big achievement for our local boys who definitely have a brighter future ahead.

Already eight of them will make the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians tour party next month.

Our rugby brand continues to grow on a global scale and the fans are very much part of its popularity.

Two weeks before the November 10 test at Murrayfield, Scotland Rugby confirmed the stadium’s 67,144 seats have been sold.

The sell-out for Fiji means the crowd will be 30,000 higher than the previous record for this fixture set in 2002, and 45,000 more than the last time Fiji played at the home of Scottish rugby in 2009.

Scotland and Fiji have played a total of seven tests of which Scotland has won five times and lost twice.

The two teams have only faced each other once in the Rugby World Cup which was in 2003. Scotland won 22-20.

Fiji has never won in Murrayfield and this is a challenge for Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee, the man who kicks off their campaign with the Reg. 9 Camp in Toulouse, France from October 29 to November 3.

Scotland fans are already making a statement keen for their team to defend their turf after losing to the Fijians 22-27 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva last year.

After the historic achievement of our Drua yesterday, the onus is on our Flying Fijians to beat Scotland for the first time in Edinburgh.

They owe it to Fiji Rugby and the fans.

OSEA BOLA


Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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