SAIONI rugby club is anticipating a flourishing campaign at the Naitasiri Rugby Union club competition this season.
The new club was crowned the Natuva trophy holders after edging champion Nawanawa 6-3 during the challenge match last Saturday at Ram Lakhan Park in Samabula.
Excited with their achievement, the team management has put the win behind to concentrate on their first ever defence of the trophy against Duavata next Saturday.
The team is named after their church in Kalabu.
"We are thankful to God for the win, it is only our first season in Naitasiri club championship and we are pleased with our achievement so far," team manager Vilikesa Soko said.
"The team is made up of youths from Kalabu.
"This is a very young team and even our coach is a 22-year old," Soko said.
He said the focus would be defending the trophy.
The former Northland Rugby Union affiliated club will defend the trophy for the next eight weeks.
"This is an achievement from the players but the next step is to defend against the next eight challengers.
"It is a huge task and we know we need to lift our preparation to a new level every week," Soko said.
He said the game against Duavata would be an uphill battle for his troops.
"We are just re-grouping again after last week's win.
"Now we have to forget that, settle down and work on our weaknesses and see where we can improve before Saturday's match," Soko added.
The challenge match kicks off 4pm on Saturday.