Letters to the Editor- April 25

Best for Singapore
It was a moment of delight when a friend sent me Fiji 7s squad to Singapore and I realised that tireless Police forward and captain Keponi Paul had made the 13 member cut. Paul has been knocking on the opportunity to represent Fiji for quite some time and I’m glad that Gareth Baber decided to rope him in. In my previous letters I had requested the 7s team management to include Police Blues trump cards Paul, Miti, Livai, Railoa and Siti in the extended squad. Miti, Livai and Siti have what our 7s team needs and having represented Fiji and being part of our winning campaign the trio know the expectation if given the opportunity and prospect to don the national jumper.

I had expected Railoa, who had turned heads during the HK 10s tournament, to finally embrace the 7s jersey but I guess more effort is needed from him to make the 7s team. Despite his omission, Fiji has a team which is capable of winning the Singapore 7s. The return of “Eyes” will reduce leadership pressure on Jerry and if star Tabadamu playmaker Tamani, who helped the side win the 2018 Marist 7s tournament, gets the nod ahead of Ravouvou, expect a blasting performance from Fiji. It is vital to maintain the combination as our boys are getting used to each other’s style of play. Our fast paced and robust forwards in Josua, Paula, “Eyes” and Mesu, combined with the offloading skills of Yasawa flyer Nasoko and the sizzling runs from Sevu should hit the tempo and damage opposition set play.

HK 7s DHL player Sau will be the centre of attention so this should give room to Wise and Naduva to thrust their stuff and ease the pressure on the “Sledgehammer”. The team that wins the Singapore 7s should have a firm grip on the WRSS title. Barring any upsets Fiji and the BlitzBokke should cross each other’s path in the semis. Coach Neil Powell, who was fuming with his team’s performance in Gold Coast, has named a team filled with power in Brown, Heino, Sage, Kok, Davids and Oosthuizen, speed in Specman, Selvyn Davids, Soyizwapi and Plessis and skills and flair in SouthAfrika, Murphy and Gans. Despite missing Snyman, Geduld, Du Preez, Agaba, Smith and Senatla, Powell has assembled an exciting squad. Fiji must step up from pool play and avoid playing catch up rugby.
Toso Viti toso!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Our Fijiana 7s
Our Fiji Airways Fijiana team finished in sixth spot at the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday (FT 24/4) and sit on 10th spot in the HSBC World Rugby women’s sevens series. We have watched our girls in action and we can say that they have the power and skills set to match the champion Baber coached side. Yet they need to be pushed to be performing at their peak level and at the same time learn to take the right options and master the basic skills and rules of the game. New Zealand took both the Commonwealth Games 7s gold in the men’s and women’s division and we have Australia and England both having a strong women’s 7s side. So why is it that our girls are not on par with the boys side? Coach Tanivula said that he is bound to his current team because he does not have a pool of Fijian women’s 7s players to choose from. Is it time to change the coach or let it be and pray that the Fijiana team will improve going into the Sevens World Cup in August? We can hold our heads high and call ourselves the King of sevens rugby but we look bad when our queens, our Fiji Airways Fijiana team are being walloped by other nations.
Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Suva

After the games
On Saturday night I went out with my family to catch a movie at Village 6 on request from my son. It’s been a while since we did something like this and even after a major sporting event in the city. The city was full of our young people, some came to watch movies, others were just walking about with their friends, and I’m sure a few got into the night- clubs, and this while they were still in their school colours from the grounds. Mind you our movie was at 10pm and we even had some athletes with their school emblem on their bags hanging around the city and even coming to catch a movie. As we left to return home we came across a Nasese bus being stopped by the police, maybe because of all the flag hanging outside and how it was full of students and the loud music it was emitting. So really if something happens nine months from now, let’s not blame the child, as parents let’s blame ourselves for not caring where the future of tomorrow are and what they are up to especially with all those raging hormones. But I like to be positive and I take this time to congratulate all athletes, coaches, support staff and students and officials for a wonderful game especially to the boys of Lodoni.

Lawrence Wara, Suva

Sports and religion
Interesting comment from A.Shariff Shah on FT23/04 on religion and sports, and that the 7s rugby team set a bad trend by mixing religion and sports. Every human being has the right to declare in public the source and reason for their victory, and if sports- people acknowledge their God in signs and scripture quotations, let them be. I believe the trend set by the 7s rugby team is humbling, motivational and inspirational. At least they know that their feat is humanly impossible, but with God in their journey, nothing is impossible. They have shown the world that their creator God is the source of their strength, talent, and existence, and thus should be acknowledged in all circumstances. After all, the God of the 7s rugby team requires that his people pray at all times and in everything to give him thanks.
Finau Naigulevu Turaga, Nadi Airport

Noise pollution
AS a university student and concerned community resident, I sincerely request business houses and retail outlets in the locality of various towns and cities in the country to seriously consider the level of noise pollution generated by their outlets. I attend classes at the USP Lautoka campus which is centrally located in Lautoka City and the noise level by means of loud music from the shops is a real disturbance. Not only for this reason but also after classes we do group studies at a friend’s home within the same vicinity and the friend has an elderly, sickly grandparent who also gets affected by the loud noise. While I understand that music could be one of the many ways of attracting customers or drawing attention of a crowd, we should also be considerate and wary about the negative impact of it on the public. The same could be achieved by maintaining a lower noise level or using alternative means of gaining the required consumer attention. I urge all concerned shop owners using such loud music to be vigilant and considerate about the surrounding community residents and other public who get affected by such noise pollution. Also requesting respective town and city councils in this country to impose restrictions on such unpleasant and unnecessary noise for a harmonious environment.
Sylvia Narayan, Nadi

Safety hazard
THE management of Fiji Roads Authority should one morning, say about 5 o’clock, walk (or run if they’re fit) from Balawa junction along the Drasa Avenue Rd to the hospital roundabout. Only then will they realise how dark the road is because of faulty streetlights and the uneven surface of cracked footpaths. This is a safety hazard for the hundreds of pedestrians that use this road. For my safety, I am contemplating strapping a tubelight on my back when out running in the morning. Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Sports bits
Congratulations to the Fiji 7s team on your performance despite falling short in winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal. All is not lost as we can still be in the hunt for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the world titles. Meanwhile, I beg to defer with Simon Hazelman’s letter (FT:16/4) in regards to the boring final. In simple terms, the NZ men’s 7s team played to their own game plan to counter the Fiji 7s team, whether it was boring or interesting to register their fifth Commonwealth Games gold. At the end of the day, one team will win and one will lose and I know our Fiji team will surely bounce back. Moving on to soccer, it was indeed a proud moment for Laisani Mataele to create football history in winning the 2017 coach of the year awards. Making a complete U-turn, I totally do not agree with Rewa being named as the team of the year. Personally, I believe the mighty Lautoka Blues football team was the outright winner of the team’s award. Lautoka won the two most prestigious tournaments of the Fiji FA calendar. Firstly, the National Premier League and that too being the only undefeated team. Maybe, Fiji FA can highlight to the soccer loving fans, especially the die-hard Blues fans on the basis of awarding Rewa the Team of the Year award. On a positive note for Rewa maybe you will get a crash at the CVC by virtue of Lautoka winning both the league and IDC but unfortunately will still not be the second qualifier for the O-League campaign. Secondly, the IDC, was way above Rewa’s victories in the Fiji FACT and BOG. The simple reason being that the local league champion qualifies for the OFC Champions League and at the same time to be part of the Champion versus Champion series. The Fiji FACT and BOG gives Rewa only the trophy and the prizemoney with medals.
Raymond Singh, Lautoka

National election
I refer to the letter by Tukai Lagonilakeba of Nadi on the above issue (F/T 21/04). All I can do is to remind the writer that there is a saying… “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. Instead please be prepared for a shocking result. In fact, we all should be ready for it.
Vijay Maharaj, Navua

Mini humps
WITH reference to the bicycle lane, could the minister and team come over to Covuli St in Simla, Lautoka to check on the various mini road hump sizes before finalising your bicycle lane?
Suli Tokalau, Lautoka

Bike lanes
MY niece just asked me, “Uncle, is it true about this bicycle lane proposal?” When I said “yes”, she said, “Woilei, we don’t even have footpaths in Kava Place.” She has a point, nah?
Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Power cuts
FROM FEA to EFL, I believe that name change doesn’t help with the frequent power cuts!
Narayan Reddy, Lautoka

Constructive criticism
ONE appreciates the efforts of our Fijiana side but watching their recent performances, one wonders whether there is a need for help in terms of coaching? Watching them play against Russia on Sunday brought back nightmares. The amount of missed tackles is of serious concern. They were physically present but mentally, it appeared like they were not there when it mattered most. Is our Fijiana side in need of a female as coach or assistant coach? Should renowned sevens players like Katonibau and Kolinisau be brought on board to provide technical support? Our side continues to rush their defence, opening more gaps and attacking opportunities for our opponents. Whatever one’s views, something appears not right or lacking? Our players have the skills and passion but it appears as if something is missing. One continues to support our Fijian side but for now one hopes that constructive criticism is taken in good faith which would lead to improved performances on the field.
Floyd Robinson, Nasinu

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