Skipper Cup | SPORTS

Skipper Cup: Suva Won’t Be Easy: Tuisese

“It’s not really we going on that counter mode, because of what we have seen on the impact of last week’s game between Nadroga and Naitasiri.
21 Aug 2020 10:12
Skipper Cup: Suva Won’t Be Easy: Tuisese
Flying Fijians prop Manasa Saulo to play for Suva in tonight’s clash against Naitasiri. Photo: Planet Rugby

Flying Fijians Rugby World Cup prop, Manasa Saulo, to start for Suva

The Naitasiri rugby team have been working on their set pieces before tonight’s Skipper Cup clash against Suva.

The Highlanders are on a high after beating Nadroga 9-6 at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, last Saturday.

Naitasiri head coach, Ilaitia Tuisese Jnr, hopes that the hillmen have learned from their weaknesses before they facing the capital city side.

He added that mental preparation was paramount for any game.

“Suva is the defending Skipper Cup champions with a lot of experience and has the cream of local players,” he said.

“It would be an uphill battle for us. I believe the boys would love the challenge and make sure that we will turn up and deliver.

“We lost a bit of concentration last week, losing vital set pieces hence we couldn’t launch our strike from these plays.

“We need to be up there mentally for the whole 80 and that comes with experience and time.

“I trust the boys will learn off from last week’s encounter,” Tuisese added.

Naitasiri have a combination of experienced and some promising young players like fullback Vuate Karawalevu, Chris Minimbi, Anasa Qaranivalu and first-five-eighth, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre.

“The competition is getting tougher by the week and teams are also picking up on their fitness levels,” he said.

“Every week there would be injuries, drop in form, and we just need to look at our squad and choose from these pool of players. This is irrespective of their age or experience, as long as their individual profiles fit our game profile and they should be good to go.”


Saulo returns

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians tighthead prop Manasa Saulo is going to start for Suva.

Saulo will be an impact in the forwards, Suva team manager, Nemani Tuifagalele said.

This is Saulo’s first match in this year’s Skipper Cup competition, after sustaining an injury during training two weeks ago.

“I think coming back from injury for Saulo, this is going to be a crucial time for him,” he said.

“We’re just trying to make everybody play in our squad and also strengthen our forwards,” Tuifagalele said.

“It’s not really we going on that counter mode, because of what we have seen on the impact of last week’s game between Nadroga and Naitasiri.

“The boys know what to do, the morale is high. They know it is a difficult job to play against the Highlanders. We are looking at a very good game today,” Tuifagalele added.


Scrum advantage

The capital city side has been working on its scrums with Fiji Rugby Union Elite Pathways Manager, Bill Gadolo.

This was a great advantage on their 24–15 win over Tailevu last week.

“We have begun building the momentum from the Nadi game, we pushed that a little bit further in the Tailevu game but we know that the Naitasiri scrumming is very good,” Tuifagalele said.

“But whoever comes prepared on game day will have the advantage.

“We working, especially on the tight five and we will patch the loop holes on our backline.”

Tuifagalele added that the combination of first-five-eighth, Jone Manu, second five eighth Serupepeli Vularika, centre, Apisalome Vota and Enele Malele at fullback is expected to be firing.



Suva: 1. Apisai Vatubuli, 2. Tevita Ikanivere, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Manoa Tamaya, 5. Filimoni Seru, 6. Elia Canakaivata, 7. Taniela Sadrugu, 8. James Brown, 9. Nemani Buliruarua, 10. Jone Manu, 11. John Stewart, 12. Serupepeli Vularika, 13. Apisalome Vota, 14. Petero Misaele, 15, Enele Malele.

Reserves: 16. Lino Vasuinadi, 17. Meli Tuni, 18. Penijamini Makutu, 19. Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, 20. Kolinio Tamanitoakula, 21. Vatiliai Dulaki, 22. Setareki Raoba, 23. Savenaca Uluibau.


Naitasiri: 1.Joeli Veitayaki , 2. Seremaia Naureure, 3. Samu Tawake, 4. Apisai Vakatawa, 5. Temo Raibevu, 6. Isikia Macu, 7. Tomasi Naiduki, 8. Sireli Kaloucava, 9. Jone Navuso, 10. Douglas Daveta, 11. Saula Naicori, 12. Lepani Tuivanuavou, 13. Epeli Ratabacaca, 14. Veramu Dikidikilati, 15. Vuate Karawalevu.

Reserves: 16. Jone Tokamalua, 17. Joe Qaduadua, 18. Imanuel Naciva, 19. Chris Minimbi, 20. Anasa Qaranivalu, 21. Viliame Matai, 22. Baleca Raulo, 23. Kini Douglas

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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