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Entertainment on the agenda

Fred Wesley
Saturday, November 04, 2017

THE stage is set for an exciting weekend of rugby in the two codes.

The Drua are scheduled to play Queensland Country and the Fiji Bati take on Wales on Sunday.

The Drua play Queensland Country in a return clash following our earlier loss at Churchill Park in Lautoka 17-24 in Round 8 of the Australian National Rugby Championship.

We also fell to the Sydney Rams in Suva, making it two defeats at home.

The challenge is on the Drua to regain the excitement with which it opened its campaign in the championship.

Captain John Stewart will have to motivate his men to cause some damage this weekend when they take on the Australians in the semi-final in Brisbane.

While pundits are already predicting a loss for the Drua following our recent slump in form, Fijians are keeping their fingers crossed that the Drua will discover the passion to overcome all odds.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the divide, the Fiji Bati are now preparing for a game they must win to cement an early spot in the quarter-finals of the Rugby League World Cup.

Tomorrow we take on the might of Wales in a game national coach Mick Potter insists we must win at all costs.

Victory over Wales sees us secure a spot in the quarters, following our very powerful victory over the USA last weekend.

Losing, he said, jeopordises our spot in the quarterfinals.

Potter certainly isn't keen on leaving it to another team to determine whether we advance or not into the quarter-finals.

He has retained the team that defeated the USA with the exception of injured frontrower Kane Evans.

The rugged Ashton Sims and Eloni Vunakece will be at frontrow tomorrow with Apisai Koroisau coming in at hooker.

Viliame Kikau and Brayden Wiliame will be guarding our edges as secondrowers with Tui Kamikamica coming in at lockforward.

Potter has retained the halves pair of Henry Raiwalui at halfback and Jarryd Hayne at five eight with Akuila Uate and Taane Milne named as centres inside our wingers Suliasi Vunivalu and Marcelo Montoya.

Skipper Kevin Naiqama will be at fullback tomorrow.

Following the win over the USA, fans are already rubbing their hands in glee over the prospect of another top show by the Bati tomorrow.

Potter will, however, be looking to iron out problem areas as well and will obviously be tightening up our defensive and attacking shapes.

Interest will no doubt be firmly focused on how our halves combination gels once more this weekend.

Understandably Wales cannot be taken lightly and Potter knows that.

But there is excitement in the air.

Tomorrow is another opportunity for us to showcase the abundance of talent we have in our islands.

We wish both the Drua and the Bati the best. Go Fiji, go.

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