SPORTS

13 Years Was A Long Wait, Says Winning Captain

The COVID-19 pandemic enabled Sivaniolo Turuva Lumelume to stay back and play for the Jack’s Nadi rugby team in this year’s Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship.
01 Aug 2022 17:06
13 Years Was A Long Wait, Says Winning Captain
Jack’s Nadi captain Sivaniolo Turuva Lumelume holds the Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship Cup with fans and players at Prince Charles Park, Nadi, on July 30, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The COVID-19 pandemic enabled Sivaniolo Turuva Lumelume to stay back and play for the Jack’s Nadi rugby team in this year’s Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship.

Fondly known to rugby fans as Turuva Lumelume, he believes the pandemic was a blessing in dis­guise as he captained Nadi to win the Skipper Fiji Rugby Champion­ship Cup after a 13-year lapse.

The 35-year-old scored the win­ning try in their 16-14 win over Naitasiri in the grandfinal at Prince Charles Park, Nadi, last Sat­urday.

“It is sweeter than honey to win at home especially 13 years is a long time,” he told SUNsports.

“I thank the coaches for giving me the chance to play once again, an opportunity to play for my vanua. I also played in the 2008 and 2009 finals before securing a rugby con­tract in New Zealand.”

Lumelume and Eseroma Na­balawa played for Nadi when they hoisted the then Sanyo Cup in 2008 after beating Nadroga 10-8 Na­droga in the final at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.

The following year Nadi went down to Nadroga 16-8 in the final.

Lumelume hails from Yavusania but has lived in Narewa since childhood.

He played for the Otorohanga Rugby Club in Waikato but his rugby career took a turn when the pandemic hit.

“I returned home in 2020 due to COVID, but if there was no COVID I would not have returned home and see this celebration.

“Despite my age I will continue to play for Nadi and I do enjoy playing with these bunch of new boys. The more the game time the better for them. We’ve got trust the system. We thank our sponsors and with­out them we won’t make it this far.”

Lumelume is married and has three children.

Meanwhile, this season Nadi played 16 matches in the compe­tition. They won 14 and lost two games, which guaranteed top of table finish after the end of the 14-week round robin.

They beat defending Skipper champs Suva and Naitasiri twice this year.

The side wrestled the INNK Fiji Rugby Farebrother Trophy from Naitasiri, who had successfully de­fended it five consecutive times.

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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