Teams Train to Win: Tuis­ese

Fiji Sun - - SPORTS - MAROONS HARD AT WORK SERE­ANA SALALO and OSEA BOLA Ilaitia Tuis­ese Jnr Edited by Osea Bola

Naitasiri coach Ilaitia Tuis­ese Jnr said the Naitasiri squad were slowly shift­ing into over­drive as they pre­pare for their first Skip­per Cup Pre­mier­ship match.

The High­landers will host Lau­toka at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nau­sori next Satur­day.

“Lau­toka won the

Vanua Cham­pi­onship and we give them that,”Tuis­ese said.

And be­ing pro­moted to top tier com­pe­ti­tion is noth­ing new to the Maroons as they have been there be­fore.

“All teams train to win as no team

Voda­fone last year credit for trains to lose in any day. And given the makeup of the com­pe­ti­tion, we re­spect all the teams we will be play­ing against hence we in­tend to lay the plat­form for our sea­son when we play Lau­toka,” he said. Tuis­ese said the boys have been pre­par­ing well and adapt­ing given the three months off the rugby field due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

“Prepa­ra­tion has along good com­ing long break.

“The boys are all ea­ger to work hard at train­ing know­ing very well that this is the new nor­mal, train­ing for 5 weeks(off sea­son) to play in a 16-atch com­pe­ti­tion.

“Over­all it had been very en­cour­ag­ing see­ing the boys slug­ging it out in ev­ery ses­sion.”

One of the ma­jor weak­nesses en­coun­tered last year was the trans­fer of play­ers to other dis­tricts and been back com­ing from a overseas clubs.

“I guess it is more of cre­at­ing that depth in our squad when you have play­ers mov­ing to other unions or play­ing overseas. That is al­ways a chal­lenge to the coach­ing staff and to have ev­ery­body on par with their game sense, fit­ness and at­ti­tude.

“If we can get this right and tick all the boxes, we should be in good shape and pro­duce a very com­pet­i­tive team.”

Overseas Play­ers

While hav­ing overseas based play­ers might boost the Naitasiri side, Tuis­ese said they were not bank­ing on big names but hard work.

“As of the past years, the High­landers al­ways cham­pion our lo­cal breed play­ers, those who are com­ing through our sys­tem and it would be a bonus to have overseas based play­ers to play for us.

“But still, just like any­one else, all need to work hard for a spot in the team.”

The other Skip­per Cup Pre­mier­ship matches are Nadroga-Suva at Lawaqa Park, Si­ga­toka, Namosi hosts Tailevu at Thom­son Park, Navua and Nadi vs Ya­sawa at Churchill Park, Lau­toka.

Maroons train­ing hard

Mean­while, Lau­toka rugby squad had an­other train­ing ses­sion yes­ter­day.

And Coach Vereniki Tukana was happy with the prepa­ra­tion.

“Af­ter the lift­ing of the re­stric­tions, we were given four weeks to pre­pare and I’m happy the play­ers are slowly pick­ing up form fit­ness­wise,”Tukana said.

“We are hard at work and hope­fully ev­ery­thing should be up to par by game day.”

Lau­toka and Ya­sawa were the top two teams from the 2019 Voda­fone Vanua Cham­pi­onship pro­moted to the 2020 Skip­per Cup Pre­mier­ship with North­land and Rewa rel­e­gated.

“The bulk of our squad com­prised last year’s Maroons as we build for the fu­ture,”Tukana said.

“We are in the top tier comp and we want to be part of it in fu­ture. That’s why all have been work­ing hard from ever since.”

Photo:

......... Waisale Si­gan­i­mate (left) leads the at­tack dur­ing Lau­toka squad train­ing at Churchill Park on July 14, 2020. They will play Naitasiri at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nau­sori on July 25. Waisea Nasokia

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