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Up for a fight

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, September 04, 2014

"IT'S going to be one hell of a game."

That's the message from the Northland camp as they get ready for Saturday's HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge 2014 against holders Nadroga at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka at 3pm.

The Stallions are riding high after successfully defending the prestigious trophy against Naitasiri 25-20 in the opening challenge last week and is keen to continue their unbeaten run.

Northland, which will enter as the underdogs in this weekend's challenge, has nothing to lose but is aiming to create a major upset.

Northland Rugby Union secretary Tevita Kanalagi is promising fans — who doubt their ability — a worthy watch this Saturday.

"Nobody prepares to lose. The Farebrother Trophy is a big challenge and we like any other team will be going there with the intention to win," Kanalagi said.

"We will go in the match as the underdogs but we are going there to surprise. The margin in the Skipper Cup where we lost was huge but this is a different ball game. We will be a worthy challenger."

Northland last laid its hands on the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy in 2008. They held the trophy for a week before Naitasiri beat them.

Kanalagi said the Holy Grail of Fiji rugby had evaded them for a long time and they wanted to make it count this time around.

He said the team had been training for the past four weeks but the intensity of the preparation went up to another level last week.

Coach Watisoni Ratulevu has been working with a bunch of new players and trying to get the mix right with a handful of experienced reps in the team.

Ratulevu is eyeing tighthead prop Banuve Dretiverata, livewire hooker Sireli Ledua and skipper Vilimoni Malorua to lead by example.

Nadroga Rugby Union president Tiko Matawalu said they anticipated a tough challenge from the visitors.

The former Stallions skipper said they wanted to maintain their record win in the Farebrother Challenge.

According to Matawalu, they are gunning for their 70th successful defence this Saturday.

"It's (record) working both ways. It can boost our campaign and it can also jeopardise our focus. So we are always trying not to be carried away with the number of wins," Matawalu said.

Meanwhile, Fiji Rugby Union will confirm today whether the three players from Nadroga in the Vodafone Fiji 7s squad can feature in the challenge.

The three are Apisalome Waqatabu, Savenaca Rawaca and Eremasi Radrodro.

The Ben Ryan-coached side will break camp later today.

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