Prop’s Video Call In-spires Hillmen

The tighthead prop had to make a video call from Auckland International Airport to the Naitasiri rugby team urging them to beat Suva.
19 Oct 2020 13:23
Prop’s Video Call In-spires Hillmen
QAQA Naitasiri team and officials after defeating Suva, 27 -10, in Round 12 of the Skipper Cup competition at Bidesi Park on October 17, 2020. Photo: Simione Haravanua

While waiting for his connecting flight to London on Saturday afternoon, prop Samuela Tawake was not at ease.

The tighthead prop had to make a video call from Auckland International Airport to the Naitasiri rugby team urging them to beat Suva.

“Just do the little things right and play basic rugby, to the forwards let’s work hard to get the win,” the former Manawatu Turbo prop told the players.

This helped inspire Naitasiri as they romped to a 27-10 win and confirmed their semifinal spot in the Skipper Cup competition.

The team farewelled Tawake last Friday night at the Siris Apartment in Nausori but the big Ovalau native was more concerned about the importance of winning the Suva game.

Tawake is one of the Fijian players named in the British Barbarians rugby side that take on England at Twickenham on October 25.

Throughout last week, he had been leading the charge as the forwards worked on their scrums and set pieces.  He also assisted the forwards coaching staff and took videos of the scrums and line-outs then showing it to the players, so they can improve on the next set.

Tawake’s commitment and sacrifice inspired his team-mates not to let him down.



He made his debut for the Flying Fijians in last year’s 33-31 win over the Barbarians in Twickenham, last November.

Tawake along with Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Rusiate Nasove, Serupepeli Vularika, Simione Kuruvoli and Tevita Ikanivere caught a flight to Auckland on Saturday.

They were joined by prop Haereiti Hetet as they waited for six hours in transit before catching their connecting flight to London.



Meanwhile, the Naitasiri rugby team’s bonding exercise has contributed a lot in their much improved performance.

The team had visited Nakorosule and Waisomo villages during the Fiji Day celebration as part of the exercise.

Flanker Apenisa Waqawai said the exercise was vital as they are in the Skipper Cup semifinal.

“It was important to have that bonding exercise up in the hills,” he said.

This, he says, the bond is between the province (vanua) of Naitasiri and the players.

“Visiting those villages and meeting the people who had supported us is something special.

“To actually see and feel of how they prepare to come down to watch us play is really tough. This is because it is not easy for them as they are in the interior but they still make it to the ground to support us.

“It was such an emotional trip as most of the fans only hear and read our names but haven’t seen us in real life.

“Visiting them was a blessing to the team and now we know as players that wearing that jersey is more than just playing.

“We have been motivated by the hardships and struggles that these people face and now we hold the province of Naitasiri close to our hearts when playing.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




Fijisun Ad Space

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.