Rugby | SPORTS

Are Rasaku, Maqala The Answer?

Is the selection of Kaminieli Ra­saku and France-based Sireli Maqala providing the much-needed catalyst in our campaign to win the Rugby World Cup Sevens title (Melrose Cup) after 17 years of drought?
03 Sep 2022 12:00
Are Rasaku, Maqala The Answer?
Kaminieli Rasaku.

Is the selection of Kaminieli Ra­saku and France-based Sireli Maqala providing the much-needed catalyst in our campaign to win the Rugby World Cup Sevens title (Melrose Cup) after 17 years of drought? The duo have been named by head coach Ben Goll­ings in the Fijian men’s 7s squad for next weekend’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town, South Africa.

Both players play mostly at rover but at times change positions to frustrate their opponents.

During the 1997 World Cup Sevens, then coach the late Rupeni Ravonu successfully combined the elusive Manasa Bari and veteran Luke Er­enavula to take the attention away from maestro Waisale Serevi. Bari, who was then playing for the Otago Highlanders, played at rover while Erenavula was moved to hooker from the Cup quarterfinal onwards. He became the third playmaker among the forwards.

At the 2005 World Cup, then coach, Wayne Pivac worked with Serevi, Marika Vunibaka, Filimoni De­lasau, Sireli Bobo, Nasoni Roko, Neumi Nanuku and William Ryder in the backs to provide the winning thrust.

With Rasaku and Maqala in the squad; they could be our possible trump cards.

Sireli Maqala (left).

Sireli Maqala (left).

Rasaku was second on the DHL Impact Player of the Tournament at the Los Angeles Sevens from six tackles, seven breaks, five offloads and 24 carries while Maqala has been playing well for his France-based club Bayonne; he recently played in Fiji’s silver medal win at the Commonwealth Games in Bir­mingham, England.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday Gollings said both players are excit­ing to watch.

“Kaminieli is very good on the wing and plays rover at times. In terms of the way he goes forward, his strength balances that out with Sireli Maqala coming into the squad,” the former England 7s cap­tain said.

“It’s good to have Sireli in the squad, he brings experience, clini­cal thinking, power and pace.”

Gollings added that he is confident with his selection for the World Cup bringing in utility players.

“We have great balance, very mo­bile and elusive set of forwards attached to a very quick and also smart backline,” he said.

“One of the biggest challenge comes with the forwards, it’s not often that we can carry six for­wards in the 12 men squad so there’s a lot forwards to push for. “Ultimately it will go around the balance within the forwards. It is exciting and tough to those who haven’t made it.”

Golling said it was a tough deci­sion to select the team because we have to take 13 (to the Los Angeles Sevens) and 12 for this tournament (World Cup). In terms of the pace, the decision making of the squad we’ve got a good team.”

Feedbacks: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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