SAVENACA Rawaca has always been just a name on Nadroga's ever changing team list throughout the season, because of the revolving door system, the team employs to give as much experience as possible to their big pool of players.
But after the departure of Jovesa Kunawave to North Otago early in the season, two names have stuck and were consistently appearing week in, week out, in the Digicel Cup competition.
The midfield combination of Savenaca Rawaca and Samuela Cava got the nod from coach Esala Nauga to man the hottest part of the cauldron of backline play, in midfield, with players like Saiasi Mataitoga and veteran Jonetani Ratu sometimes coming in as impact players in the second half. Last week Apisai Domolailai broke that trend coming in at centre and sending Cava to the wing.
Kunawave was quickly becoming a household name with his try scoring abilities and his last game before he flew off with Isimeli Koniferedi and Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku, was two tries against Suva at the ANZ Stadium in a Digicel Cup match which Nadroga won convincingly.
However, the two men, new names in top provincial rugby consistently, made the positions their very own for the rest of the season.
But after last Saturday's 27-22 win over Tailevu, to win back the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy they lost to Suva last year, the name Rawaca is definitely here to stay.
The powerfully built man scored two tries in Nadroga's four-try romp and it was not so much about being there at the right place and right time, it was the way he showed his physicality, grit and determination to score the tries.
His first try in the first half came after a quick ruck ball and with a man to spare outside him he managed to eliminate the only form of defence that stood in his path, by a powerful left hand fend, picking his time perfectly, leaving Tailevu tackler Jone Turuva sprawling on the ground before outrunning the cover defence to score at the corner.
The second try was the winner, which began from near the Nadroga tryline, as the men in white swept from one end of the field to the other, quickly spreading their attack like bushfire and Rawaca took the final pass and with a Tailevu defender clinging to his jersey.
He dragged the defender a couple of metres before slam dunking the ball over the whitewash.
With the big pool of players available for Nadroga and the competition for places, coach Nauga and his team management have laid strict guidelines and code of conduct for players to follow and discipline is at the uppermost.
Strict rules like alcohol and yaqona bans had to be followed and the guilty ones, talented they may be, will often find themselves on the reserve bench or in the reserve squad.
The union has created a culture of rugby discipline on an off the field for many reasons.
Firstly, to develop the rugby players in a holistic way physically, mentally and spiritually and also by lifting the criteria of selection makes it a bit easier for them to select their teams week in, week out.
There's the bigger reason, which is spelled out in the union's constitution, to develop players to become marketable locally and overseas so they create a livelihood for their families with rugby.
This makes Nadroga Rugby Union probably, if they ever competed, one of the favourites to win the Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year award.
They have players continually taking up overseas contracts and the latest is Flying Fijian winger Aisea Natoga, who now plays for a club in Wales.
So to make Nadroga's first line-up week in, week out, says a lot about the quality of players they have running on the field.
National sevens coach Ben Ryan is looking to select his new sevens squad mentioning the return of some old hands like Setefano Cakau.
Cakau's sevens experience will be invaluable but age is quickly catching up.
If Rawaca had a headgear on last Saturday one could have mistook him for being Cakau.
The powerful fend, the speed and determined run for the line and the robotic, lack of emotion he shows on his face after scoring tries points to a soft-spoken nature, cool customer under pressure and many other attributes that, we will never indulge so much on and hopefully unravel in the next couple of years or decade.
Captain courageous, Setefano Samoca's opening try against Tailevu was a classic. He has done that so many times this year and his experience will be invaluable as he is expected to also captain the Flying Fijians in the November tour.
Tailevu did everything well but they came off second best and doing their fans proud by pushing Nadroga to the limit in their toughest match this season.
Tailevu coach Lance Whippy made some crucial halftime changes, which I believe changed the game into what it finally became, a closely-contested match instead of a massacre.
The stallions are hard to stop when they get into their rhythm and towards the end of the second half, the two quick tries saw them getting into gear and exposed the slow Tailevu defence and the halftime break must have been a relief for the coaching team.
In the second half some hard words must have transpired in the changing room because Tailevu snapped out of their late first half reverie and were always up there quick in defence around the rucks in the second half.
The continuous quick defence saw Nadroga infringe more in the rucks for Tailevu fullback Jaoji Dakuvula to accumulate his tally.
Lulled into a 22-22 score and confidence of retaining the trophy, Nadroga burst the dam and scored the winner.
In the after-match speech Tailevu skipper Esira Vueti may have meant well with his one liner of Tailevu always wins despite the rugby loss, but it could have been received otherwise.
In this modern rugby era perhaps Fiji Rugby Union should also conduct training to team officials and captains on the way to handle the press and how to utilise it especially speaking to live television using tact and diplomacy. Tebara Bus sponsors Tailevu and Outrigger of the Lagoon sponsors Nadroga.
Sponsors are hard to come by and thanking them on television gives them a lot of mileage and keeps them happy for next year.
Companies pay thousands of dollars for airtime and the opportunity for free airtime is one to grasp and take full advantage of to assure the fans in view of their future support and also to pay tribute to everyone of the 10,000 spectators that crowded the ANZ Stadium and the thousand others watching through the 500 pay per view channel and other internet viewers.
Anyway Nadroga and the thousands of fans only took West the silverware.
Tailevu took the lion's share of the gate takings for a grand payday and to boost union coffers and are laughing all their way to the bank.