4 October, 2014, 12:00 am
NAMOSI are expected to provide Nadroga one of the toughest matches this season as they meet for the HFC Bank Farebrother-Sullivan trophy challenge at Lawaqa Park this Saturday.
In the Skipper Cup competition Namosi held their own against the champions losing 17-18 at Thompson Park and since coming into the major union last year they have been enjoying their rugby on the top half of the table ever since, 4th in 2013 and 5th in 2014.
In the 2013 Digicel Cup they also lost 12-13 at Lawaqa Park and in the Digicel Cup semi-final Namosi held Nadroga 3-6 until the 36th minutes before the floodgates opened for Nadroga to win 35-3.
They scored three tries in their Farebrother challenge against Suva last year but lost 17-33.
For one thing, Namosi will not make the same mistake Tailevu, Suva and previous challengers made by fumbling possession at crucial times, the results of lack of peak physical conditioning.
Namosi trainer Max Hughes knows the importance of having a perfect conditioned body to maintain the continuity that leads to scoring points. He has the players like former Flying Fijians flanker Alipate Vuaviri and Iliesa Salusalu with tough lock Vaione Tegu to spearhead the Namosi attacks.
Namosi closely missed out in the Skipper Cup semi-finals and have had a good season, beating Lautoka 31-7, Nadi 23-6 and were fifth on the points table standings behind Suva (37) by three points at 34.
So ending the season with a trophy in their cabinet is definitely the ultimate goal the fans will be cheering their hearts out for.
Nadroga have successfully defended the trophy using a player rotation system from a squad of sixty players and used a host of fresh players against Tailevu last week and came off with a resounding 57-0 win.
Nadroga, however have not had it all their way, even though it was the second time they made the opposition scoreless.
The second challenge against Northland was the toughest and it came after Nadro’s two consecutive battles against Naitasiri winning 50-7 in the Skipper Cup final and 25-20 in the HFC Bank Farebrother match a week after.
Mental and physical fatigue are usually the threats to teams defending the coveted silverware and Nadroga coach Esala Nauga and his officials have gained experience from dealing with such by the rotation system.
Then Northland caught them on one of their lowest forms managing a scoreless first half before the fresh national sevens reps came on in the second half to score twelve points.
Now after Suva, Northern Bulls and Tailevu, Nadroga are in the same situation again.
After having those three heavy pounding rounds, Namosi ,coached by Timoci Wainqolo, hopes that the defenders will lower their guard down again.
At the same time Namosi hopes to be in their best.
Because that’s their only chance and they will not let that chance go slipping out of their grasp.