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2020 Skipper Cup: Nadi Trains To Win

Playing Naitasiri at Nausori is just like playing them at Naluwai as they have the vocal crowd to fire them up. But we are focused and aim to overcome the odds again at Ratu Cakobau Park: Mataiasi Nabau
29 Jul 2020 15:18
2020 Skipper Cup: Nadi Trains To Win
Nadi rugby reps Jo Radrodro and captain Jolame Luvevou cool down after gruelling training session at Prince Charles Park, Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Jolame Luvevou-captained Jack’s Nadi rugby team will make key positional changes against Naitasiri in round two of the Skipper Cup Premiership match at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on Saturday.

Fullback Osea Waqa, centre Sela Toga and flanker Vilikesa Boletawa are all injured after their 17-7 victory over Yasawa in Lautoka at the weekend and will miss the feature match of the week.

Nadi Rugby Union president Mataiasi Nabau said they were wary that the Highlanders would be tough to crack at home but they trained to win and were focused on overcoming the odds.

“Naitasiri is Naitasiri and they would be tough to crack at home,” he said.

“Playing Naitasiri at Nausori is just like playing them at Naluwai as they have the vocal crowd to fire them up.

“But we are focused to overcome the odds again at Ratu Cakobau Park.”

In their encounter last year, Nadi defeated Naitasiri 14-10 to claim the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy at the same venue.

“We’re aware that they are keen to avenge the loss and get even, but we train to win and nothing has changed.”

The Ilai Derenalagi-coached Nadi side resumed training at Prince Charles Park, Nadi, yesterday.

“There will be some key positional changes due to injuries but we have players who can replace them,” he said.

Both teams remained undefeated in the competition after round one.

Naitasiri building depth

Despite having a young side for the 2020 Skipper Cup Premiership competition, the Highlanders are hopeful of a good season.

In their opening game against Lautoka last week, Naitasiri scored a bonus 29-11 win.

With most players aged between 19 and 23, Coach Ilaitia Tuisese Junior is keen to win both the Skipper Cup Premiership and Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy

“It is a chance for us to keep breeding players and anyone who has what it takes, will play,” he said.

“Anyone who is good enough is old enough, age is not a matter.

“I trust our system in building depth even though there are a lot of limitations for us in the province.

“The goal is, you set the standards high and work towards it, that’s what we aim to do.

“Our aim now is for both silverwares, Skipper and Farebrother.”

The Nadi – Naitasiri match kicks off at 3pm, with the Under – 19 and women at 11am and 1pm respectively.

The other matches are Suva-Yasawa, Nadroga-Namosi (double-header) and Lautoka-Tailevu.

Edited by Osea Bola

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