Editorial comment – Special sporting moments

Benito Masilevu and members of the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians team during their training session at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Thursday, June 07, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE stage is set for an exciting action-packed sporting weekend. Rugby fans have a host of events to look forward to.
The Flying Fijians take on the might of Manu Samoa after Tonga plays Georgia at the National Stadium in Suva tomorrow.
Around the country, high schools will compete in another zonal round of the Deans Trophy competition.
At primary school level, ruggers will be part of the Kaji competition. In soccer, the final of the Fiji Football Association Cup Tournament (Fiji FACT) is scheduled for Sunday at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori. That’s when Rewa hosts Labasa.
There is no doubt though about where majority of fans will be focused on this weekend. The national rugby side heads into the Paris 7s on a high in the wake of last weekend’s win at the London 7s at Twickenham.
A couple of factors will carry us through as the team to beat. Our victory over South Africa the defending champions of the World Rugby Sevens Circuit should place us on a very high pedestal.
That and the fact that we have five gold medals in this season’s series add up to ensure we are hot favourites.
It is attracting a lot of attention and the imagination of Fijian fans around the globe.
National coach Gareth Baber may have lost the services of France-based duo Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra for this weekend’s tournament, however, the inclusion of Semi Kunatani does add depth to our campaign.
We have a chance to win the World Series. But that will mean we have to reach the semi-final of the Cup competition this weekend. Now that isn’t going to be a walk in the park considering the calibre of teams we will face in our pool.
We will be coming up against New Zealand, Samoa and Kenya. Aside from the prize at the end of the event, this weekend will obviously also double as a dry run for teams preparing for the 7s World Cup in San Francisco from July 20 to 22.
Back home, the Flying Fijians will no doubt be geared up for an expected physical encounter against Manu Samoa. The traditional rivalry has long been a part of Pacific rugby.
Flying Fijians coach John McKee has named a power-packed side which includes European Player of the Year Leone Nakawara at second row and Aviva Premiership Player of the Year Vereniki Goneva as one of our wingers. McKee knows Manu Samoa are going to be very strong and physical.
Fijian fans, he said, have the opportunity to “witness some truly world-class players in action this weekend”.
Eroni Mawi, Alivereti Veitokani, Ratu Vere Vugakoto and Sevanaia Galala will be making their debut tomorrow. We are in for some exciting sporting action this weekend. Whatever team you favour, and wherever you may be, we hope you will savour the excitement and joy sporting events bring us.
Let’s cut through all imaginary demarcation lines and embrace these sporting moments.

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