IF Suva is to end a seven-year drought, they have to contest and contain the Nadroga forwards at Churchill Park tomorrow.
That’s the only way they stand a chance of wresting the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy from the holders, says Mosese Taga, the last Suva man who coached the Capital City side to win at Lawaqa Park in 2005.
Taga’s team had upset Nadroga 29-21. Taga is confident that the Fiji Bitter-sponsored Suva side can repeat that feat.
“To beat Nadroga you have to control the forward play and fight on until the last minute,” Taga said
“You have to win your lineouts, scrums and dominate your rucks and mauls.
“In saying that, you must never allow them (Nadroga) to win clean balls from their lineouts, scrums, rucks or mauls.
“Winning the forwards battle is the key to winning against this powerful Nadroga side.”
An area of Nadroga’s game which Taga believes they had utilised so well in the past matches is their ability to use their loose forwards as extras in defence.
“Suva will need to set-up play to suck in those forwards covering the fringes of the rucks and mauls so they will have less numbers in the opposition defence. When you move forward this way there will always be opportunities to win free-kicks or penalties.
“It is very important to have a very reliable goal-kicker as any kick either from a penalty or conversion must be converted into points to win a match.”
Taga said Nadroga’s performance had continued to improve from the Digicel Cup into the Farebrother challenge.
“They have improved a lot and this is due to the fact they have been together for a very long time and while they are very fit they have also built a very good back-up base,” Taga said.
“This is why Nadroga rugby is very different from any other team in the country. For any young rugby player growing up in Nadroga your aim is to play for Stallions and your mind-set is totally focused on this.
“That is why they have been very strong in the local under-20 competition in the past few years and they have developed this group so well that they can easily fit into their provincial side when they are called up.”
Taga said before going onto the field, the Suva players would need to believe in themselves and not be intimidated by the opposition.
Nadroga coach Esala Nauga has named a strong line-up although they have lost six players to the Digicel national sevens squad preparing for the Gold Coast 7s in Australia.
The return of skipper Setefano Somoca is expected to boost the Stallions tomorrow.
Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Seremaia Naureure, Setefano Somoca, Sekonaia Kalou, Nemani Nagusa, Iliesa Ratuva, Etonia Naba, Ratu Mosese Volavola, Sakiusa Gavidi, Jiuta Lutumailagi, Isoa Neivua, Jonetani Ratu, Mesulame Soga, Aisea Natoga, Ratu Meli Kurisaru.
Reserves: Ratu Seru Cakobau, Meli Kaisau, Manoa Tamaya, Epeli Natuikata, Emosi Vucago, Jonetani Ralulu, Sekove Leawere.