SPORTS

Naikore’s Performance Turns Heads

The Fijiana Drua on Saturday had backed up their Super W debut with another impressive win, overcoming the Queensland Reds 27-12 at Suncorp Stadium. Naikore had scored twice.
15 Mar 2022 14:49
Naikore’s Performance Turns Heads
Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua wing Vitalina Naikore on attack against Queensland Reds in their Super W clash at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, on March 12, 2022. Photos: Stan Sport

It is no surprise that Fijiana Drua wing Vitalina Naikore, 21, is making heads turn with her sterling performance at the Super Rugby women competition.

Macuata Women’s Rugby coach Maria Tamotubiu while applauding the Nadivakarua, Kubulau, Bua scoring machine said Naikore’s outstanding performance was expected.

The Fijiana Drua on Saturday had backed up their Super W debut with another impressive win, overcoming the Queensland Reds 27-12 at Suncorp Stadium. Naikore had scored twice.

They had taken on Super W in scintillating fashion, destroying the Melbourne Rebels 66-5 in their competition debut two weeks ago.

“She is a natural sportswoman who always picks up the best player awards wherever she plays,” Tamotubiu said.

“She played striker for the Labasa Women’s Football team when she was still at school at Waiqele Secondary School; she then switched to rugby and played at centre when Macuata registered in the local women’s competition.

“She is disciplined and always determined. She would turn up for training regardless the weather; she would even walk to the training venue if she did not have money to catch the bus.

“She is also a bright student who is now focussed to play her best. Her mental and psychological balance assist her accomplish challenges.

Naikore switched to rugby in 2020 while attending Year 13 at the Holy Family Secondary School in Labasa; the following year she was called into the Fijiana 15s team, and this year a member of the Rooster Fijiana Drua team.

Family

Naikore is the eldest of six siblings and is the only girl. They live in Nadivakarua, where, plant yaqona as their main source of income.

She started schooling in the nearby village school before moving to WSS for secondary school where she lived with her uncle’s family.

With her interest in rugby union, she moved to HFSS and was one of the many rugby players that was billeted at Tamotubiu’s house.

Her parents have not watched her play rugby in 2021 Tamotubiu invited them over to come and watch Macuata women take on Ovalau in the Vanua Cup challenge.

Naikore’s mum, Sera Bolatini said they went crazy watching the game and were proud with how Naikore had played.

“I think I was the loudest that day. Knowing how we struggle to keep the six of them in school and the other obligations I was emotional and proud of my daughter,” Bolatini said.

“To see her on the screen was another level. We have always supported her in her decisions, as our first born we always encourage her to have a career.

“I thought that she would join the army, she a strong girl as whenever she is at home she spends her time on our yaqona plantation.

“Rugby is now a profession and through that she is playing for Fiji overseas. She is now earning and that is good.

“Women are playing the men’s game, we still support her. She is an obedient child and she listens that is why she is doing well in rugby.

“We believe that everything starts from home – wherever your child may go he or she is your (parents’) reflection and they tell our story wherever they go.”

Idol

Savenaca Rawaca is Naikore’s idol.

“While growing she idolises Rawaca and was always saying that she will wear the white jersey one day.

“That dream has come true for her, she is always imitating how he plays.

Rawaca is known for his physicality and aggressiveness on the rugby field, he also plays wing.

“Vitalina, always put God first to lead you in everything that you do and be determined,” Rawaca said from France on Sunday.

“I also want to encourage you (Naikore) to continue to give her best in all aspects of the games.”Rawaca said.



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