Vota Faces ‘The Hunter’

Their clash is one of the most antici­pated in tonight’s Super Rugby Pacif­ic encounter at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
13 Mar 2022 12:13
Vota Faces ‘The Hunter’
LEFT: Swire Shipping Fijian Drua centre Apisalome Vota Right :Hunter Paisami of the Queensland Reds

Straight running Swire Shipping Fijian Drua centre, Apisalome Vota, can contain hard hitting Queensland Reds counterpart, Hunt­er Paisami, says former Super Rugby star centre Sireli Naqelevuki.

Their clash is one of the most antici­pated Super Rugby Pacif­ic encounters at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Vota, who is new to Super Rugby, faces Paisami, who is regarded as the best centre in Australia. Paisami is known for his physical play coupled with power, pace and ruthless de­fence.

Speaking to SUNsports on Friday , former Stormers centre, Naqelevuki said Vota would provide a good chal­lenge for Paisami.

“He (Vota) has proven himself in the Skipper Cup competition and now with Super Rugby by getting his fourth start,” Naqelevuki said.

“Vota is a very strong runner with ball in hand, good speed and very elu­sive. He is also a great defender.”

The former Fijian 7s star forward said the only edge Paisami had over Vota would be on experience.

The Samoan has represented the Australian Wallabies in four Test matches and played 23 Super Rugby matches, compared to Vota’s three.

“It will all come down to experience and composure. It is important to see how Vota will play under pressure. So far, Vota’s character and game is building as the 2022 Super Rugby Pa­cific competition progresses, which is a good sign. It’s good to see that his performance has been consistent and that consistency earned him the call to be in the starting line-up.”

Naqelevuki highlighted that once the Drua midfield pairing of Kaliveti Ravouvou and Vota develops, they would become deadly in the Drua’s future games.

“I think they are a new pair at centre, trying to gel in at­tack and defence. It’s good to see that their combination is building slowly. As the competition rolls their combina­tion will click that they will be hard to defend. They showed what it takes to win games last week and they can do it again against the Reds. The Reds are a very good team and they have Su­per Rugby experience on their side – this will be a good challenge for our boys.”

Naqelevuki says a win over the Reds is possible.

“It will be a big bonus for us and gives the boys more confidence as the competition rolls. There are so many areas we need to improve which will be better as we go on.”


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