Title threat

NAMOSI has inside information about Nadroga’s winning culture.

And that’s a worry for the defending champions as it defends the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge for the sixth time against Namosi this afternoon in Sigatoka.

Namosi will be led by former Nadroga rep Asaeli Boko who will start at No.8. Other players such as openside breakaway Sakiusa Nadruku and hooker Jone Vinaiwere have gone through the Nadroga rugby system and are fully aware of how Nadroga’s engine room is operated.

Boko has tasted victory with the Stallions in the past and will want to taste the same feeling again today but this time in a different coloured jersey – Namosi.

Vinaiwere was one of the emerging players for the Stallions before joining Namosi while former national sevens rep Nadruku is also one of the senior players in Nadroga’s set up.

Nadroga Rugby Union president Tiko Matawalu said these former Stallions knew the drill.

“Namosi will be a threat to us because they got players who have gone through our system in the past,” Matawalu said.

“They know inside information of how things operate here. Asaeli Boko and Nadruku are some of our former senior players and Jone Vinaiwere was one of the emerging players.

“They understand how we play because they have been there before. But now they will be on the other end so definitely Namosi knows what to expect from us.”

The former Nadroga rugby captain said it would not be an easy tussle for the Stallions. During the Skipper Cup round robin matches, Namosi took Nadroga to the wire, making a late comeback to win 18-17.

“We expect Namosi to be tough. They’re the only team that came so close to beating us during the Skipper Cup.

“Our boys know that all games are getting tougher and tougher than the previous challenge. We’re preparing for a great battle.”

Nadroga has retained its front row combination of Seremaia Naureure, Ratu Seru Cakobau and Setefano Samoca upfront. Etonia Naba comes in at locks to partner Iosefo Tani while the loose forwards of Timoci Sauvoli, Jone Navori and Ulaiasi Lawavou will start again.

Samu Laqai starts at halfback, replacing Sakiusa Gavidi while former national sevens rep Emosi Vucago comes off the bench.

The backline combination of Jiuta Lutumailagi, Eroni Vasiteri, Samu Cava, Iliesa Ratuva remain unchanged and Aprosa Tabulawaki is the only change coming in for Esala Navori at openside wing.

Namosi has included a Wardens 7s combination in its backline, featuring Abele Yalayalatabua, Iliesa Salusalu, Jone Vota, Leo Naikasau and playmaker Jone Naucabalavu.

The game kicks off at 3pm at Lawaqa Park.

Nadroga

1. Seremaia Naureure, 2. Ratu Seru Cakobau, 3. Setefano Samoca, 4. Iosefo Tania, 5. Etonia Naba, 6. Timoci Sauvoli, 7. Jone Navori, 8. Ulaiasi Lawavou, 9. Samu Laqai, 10. Jiuta Lutumailagi, 11. Iliesa Ratuva #2, 12. Eroni Vasiteri, 13. Samu Cava, 14. Aporosa Tabulawaki II, 15. Mitieli Nacagilevu

Reserves: 16. Ilaisa Leca , 17. Nemani Camainakelo, 18. Ratu Penijamini Makutu, 19. Levani Kurimudu, 20. Apisai Moimoi, 21. Emosi Vucago, 22. Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku, 23. Ratunaisa Narukutabua

Namosi

1. Jerry Nakaulevu, Viliame Satala, 3. Iokobo Bose, 4. Semi Saulaki, 5.Petero Suiniika, 6. Apakuki Vuaviri, 7. Sakiusa Nadruku, 8. Asaeli Boko (c), 9. Etuate Nete, 10. Jone Naucubalavu, 11 Abele Yalayalatabua, 12. Iliesa Salusalu (vc), 13. Jone Vota, 14. Leo Naikasau, 15. Iona Tuivuna

Reserves: 16. Jone Vinaiwere, 17. Ilaisa Nailota, 18. Timoci Vakadranu, 19. Silivenusi Cavidi, 20. Risiate Tadulala, 21. Panapasa Namoko, 22. Lekima Banuve, 23. Neumi Lagilagi

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