De­pleted Drua Side Forges Ahead in Aust Rugby Cham­pi­onships

Cap­tain Ere­masi Radro­dro was spot on to ad­mit that the mis­takes they had made proved costly in the end.

Fiji Sun - - Comment - LEONE CABENATABU­A

Let’s not give up on the Fiji Airways Fi­jian Drua as they de­fend the Aus­tralian Na­tional Rugby Cham­pi­onship (NRC).

So far, it has not been the start that we all would have wanted.

The Drua drew with Bris­bane City 22-22 dur­ing the open­ing round and last Satur­day they were wal­loped 38-15 by Western Force.

Cap­tain Ere­masi Radro­dro was spot on to ad­mit that the mis­takes they had made proved costly in the end. In ac­tual fact, this was ex­pected to hap­pen be­cause 19 play­ers out of the 33-mem­ber squad are play­ing in the NRC for the first time.

Against City, head coach Senirusi Seru­vakula had to field 11 debu­tants and an­other four against Force. The ma­jor­ity of the play­ers from last year’s win­ning NRC team are in­volved else­where.

Win­ning cap­tain Mos­ese Voka, vice-cap­tain Frank Lo­mani, Me­su­lame Dolokoto, Vere­malua Vu­gakoto, Eroni Mawi and Aliv­ereti Veitokani are now with the Fiji Airways Fly­ing Fi­jians 31-mem­ber team for the Rugby World Cup in Ja­pan.

Lock Al­bert Tuisue, who is on the standby list for the Fly­ing Fi­jians, is now with London Ir­ish.

Then those who are mem­bers of the Repub­lic of the Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces rugby side to the In­ter­na­tional De­fence Rugby Com­pe­ti­tion in Ja­pan. They are Peni Naulago, Peni­jamini Makutu, Vesi Rarawa, Peni Raidre and John Ste­wart.

Seru­vakula has taken the chal­lenge and in­cluded sev­eral Voda­fone Fi­jian Un­der-20 play­ers and those who have been play­ing con­sis­tently dur­ing the Skip­per Cup Premier­ship and the Voda­fone Vanua Cham­pi­onship.

Many of these play­ers are for the first time experienci­ng what it’s like at the top level, es­pe­cially when they are play­ing against Su­per Rugby play­ers’ week in and week out.

It’s start­ing to sink in to them, es­pe­cially af­ter play­ing two games in the NRC. The play­ers must now have a fair idea of what is ex­pected of them if they are to further their rugby ca­reer.

Radro­dro said it’s all about see­ing where they went wrong and how they could im­prove on it. It’s all part and par­cel of the learn­ing process.

The next few days will be crit­i­cal for the Fi­jian Drua’s cam­paign as Seru­vakula along with his as­sis­tants Brad Har­ris and Esala Nauga work on build­ing up the team for the next clash against NSW Coun­try Ea­gles in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, on Satur­day.

So again, let’s not give up on them and wish them well as they face NSW Coun­try Ea­gles in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, this Satur­day.

Go, Drua, Go!

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