Editorial comment – Deans finals beckon

Ready to rumble ... Ratu Kadavulevu School U18 assistant captain Apakuki Nanovo, middle, is flanked by fellow school captains from left, U16 captain Vilimo Tama, U17 captain Josefa Yavala, U19 captain Apisai Naevo, U15 captain Motikai Murray and U14 captain Ratu Apenisa Cavuilati with the Powerade Super Deans Rugby Championship U18 trophy at the Holiday Inn in Suva on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

FORMER Flying Fijian number eight Sisa Koyamaibole has high hopes for the sport at high school level.
He looked fit yesterday when he popped into The Fiji Times newsroom.
The lanky forward, now plying his trade with Brive in the French Top 14 rugby competition, was lapping up the hospitality back home with his wife.
A powerhouse in the French competition, Koyamaibole was Fiji’s number eight over a number of seasons, representing the country at three Rugby World Cups.
He believes standards have improved in the Deans Trophy competition.
He had been following the Deans competition on television and social media.
He believes Ratu Kadavulevu School and Cuvu College, the finalists in the Under-18 grade, have already lifted the hype surrounding the event to another level.
Koyamaibole said the standard of secondary schools rugby had really improved compared with previous years.
In the past, he said, schools such as RKS, Queen Victoria School and Lelean Memorial School featured in the final.
Now Cuvu College was appearing for the first time.
He believes it is a positive reflection of the standard of the game in the country.
The finals of all grades of the Deans competition would be held at the National Stadium in Laucala Bay, Suva tomorrow.
There can be no doubts about the impact of the competition on the masses.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals were packed to the rafters so to speak.
It is difficult to shrug aside the fact that the Deans competition has captured the imagination of the masses.
Tomorrow is when the best of our young crop of players will display their talents, and live their dreams.
It is an opportunity for them to play against the best in their age group.
The final of the U18 grade will no doubt be determined by the side that can absorb pressure, stay composed and retain possession.
The challenge now is for the governing Fiji Rugby Union, and the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby Union to put in place measures and platforms that will retain the core of our top school boys in the sport.
This is when we should be identifying our next core group of frontrowers, secondrowers, backrowers, half backs, flyhalves, centres, wingers and fullbacks.
We should be identifying potential talents, and hopefully bridging the gap between the Deans Trophy competition and the Flying Fijians.
We wish the teams earmarked for the finals in all grades the best.

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