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Deans final heats up

Kameli Rakoko
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NOW that the saga of Ratu Kadavulevu School and Fiji Rugby Union difference is finally behind us, rugby fans can now focus on the final of the Coke Zero Deans at Churchill Park, Lautoka this Saturday.

And while RKS was trying to wriggle out of the hole they found themselves in, Lelean Memorial School under-18 team have gone ahead in preparations that could make the difference in their final-quarter.

According to my informers through the Vesi Tree Wireless (VTW) Lelean are engaging in commando style training at Davuilevu and are undergoing intensive physical, mental and spiritual preparation.

So expect a more aggressive, dominant and razor sharp Davuilevu side on Saturday.

VTW report claims that the Davuilevu ruggers are braving the icy cold weather conditions by swimming in the Rewa River at 3am every day.

And one of the mentors of the successful era of the 2007, 2008 is back in camp leading the charge and taking the early morning plunge into freezing conditions.

With the Methodist Church celebrating its Golden Jubilee of independence from Australia, the general discussions among the former scholars, Lelean Old Scholars Association is that it will be Lelean's year of under-18 glory and there have even been prophecies made in regards to this.

The first sign of celestial favour was the reduction in strength of the RKS team after the Ministry of Education stepped in, forcing RKS to release the five players selected to represent Fiji to the Youth Olympics in China.

RKS had won the Eastern Zone beating both Lelean and Queen Victoria School but they have lost all the advantage with their five key players in China.

Both sides have not won the new version of the Deans Trophy, which is now competed for in the under-18 rather than under-19.

There are still beliefs that the decision to move the Deans competition one grade lower was to prevent schools with rugby academies from dominating the competition, to prevent the recruitment of outside players to join other schools during rugby season and were not bona fide students.

However, one of the reasons the competition was changed was because the bulk of students in that age group were in the Form Six and Form Seven classes and moved to tertiary studies year later.

Being the number three side from the Eastern zone, Lelean, upset the apple cart when they defeated Southern zone champions Marist Brothers High School in the quarter-finals.

They also defeated QVS in their sudden death encounter in the semi-final and so far they have just barely managed to come out victors not so much of any spectacular performance but because they have their basics right and they are exploiting the tonnes of mistake made by the opposition.

In the quarter-finals, Marist continually gave possession away after failing to win their own throws in the line-out time and again because the hooker could not master the ball throw-ins in windy conditions.

Had Marist won those throws it would have been a different story.

As mentioned last week RKS have the depth in their side to maintain form despite losing five players and the school's effort to regain past glory by winning the Deans Trophy may not be in vain.

Lelean have an equally heavy pack and with renewed physical fitness and enthusiasm, they are not going to just lay down and let the RKS forward machine roll over them.

Ratu Navula showed the best way to counter the RKS power was to give them a taste of their own medicine by initiating the pick and drive but with more deceptive variations.

RKS now know that Lelean will be ready for their pick and drive and at this stage of the competition they should not expect to physically dominate the Lelean boys as they did in zone competitions but should use a cloak and dagger approach to create confusion and keep the opposition guessing.

The Churchill Park sunshine and wind conditions will all come to play a major part and in the end the team that kicks the penalties will have the edge.

RKS opted to go for tries instead of kicking for goals against Ratu Navula and it almost cost them the game.

This Saturday every point counts.

To reduce the risks of heart failure in this fever pitch, suspenseful and exciting clash for our readers we are going to give a clue to let you know in advance of the final outcome. At least you have a fair inkling on who is going to win long before the final whistle.

In schools rugby, the team with more territorial advantage or more time in the opposition half have proved to have almost always win games.

May the best team win.

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