Letters to the Editor – January 29, 2019

Jerry Tuwai of Fiji Airways Fiji 7's team runs for a try against USA in the final during the Hamilton 7's in New Zealand. Fiji won 38-0. Picture: RAMA/FILE

Rookies in dream team

ALL three rookies Meli, Botitu and Tuimaba picked in the Hamilton 7s Dream Team and in just three tournaments together is not a dream anymore.
That is intriguing, fabulous, extraordinary and joka mana magic and only Fiji can produce this type of act. Botitu also scooping the DHL impact player in Hamilton is out of the ordinary. There are players playing for years that have never made the dream team and impact player categories. The saying goes “show them to them” and Fiji forever is alive. Joka na boys, joka na qito, joka Viti kei na vuravura! SHALWYN PRASAD, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

7s rugby at its best

FRED Wesley in his powerful editorial (F/T 28/01) summed up Fiji’s beautiful and memorable win in Hamilton with these lines — “We were faultless. We stuck to the rules of the game, ran strong lines with pace, tackled with enthusiasm, and displayed feats of magic under great pressure.” Watching the massive Fijian support in Hamilton and our boys displaying our natural fl air brought hope as we prepare to defend the Rio Olympics title.
Placed fi fth on the WRSS points table with 13 points, our boys moved to third position after the Cape Town win and trailed USA and New Zealand by three and two points respectively but after the back to back Hamilton 7s win, Fiji is level with the Eagles (57 points) and leads NZ by three and Africa
by 13 points respectively, while Naduva and Tuimaba lead the try scorers list with 15 and 14 tries respectively. In Hamilton, Fiji walloped the 2017/18
WRSS champions 29-7 and then whipped the US 38-0 in a six-try rout. Fiji walked away from Hamilton with back to back titles in both NZ and the world circuit and deprived the US of a tournament win despite making three consecutive finals. The gesture by our boys to lift the little ball carrier was received with a huge applause and seeing the little girl running off the ground with a smile, made me emotional. This girl will cherish her moment with
our boys for a long time. No doubt that such an act of humility makes our team the number one team on the circuit. As we recap memories from Hamilton, I salute Gareth Baber for his approach and patience. I pay tribute to Nasoko and Jerry for being great role models to Fili, Mesu, Dere,
Wise, Tamani, Josua, Tui, Paula, Naduva and Sevu. To the fans in Hamilton, vinaka vakalevu for your presence and “lung power”! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Nadawa, Nasinu

Perfect display

Our heartiest and most sincere congratulations go to our very own Fiji Airways Fiji 7s rugby team for an almost flawless and perfect display of good, clean, open-running 7s rugby laced with sudden bursts of explosive and sustained energy. Words fail to adequately describe the joy and happiness that have overcome almost every Fijian on Earth. The unifying force of amazing sporting victories is unspeakable. Vina du riki na ledu cauravou. Vina du riki na qaqa qa nia na waqe kaikai i Hamilton, Niu Siladi. Mutou tovole leqwa ena rara levu i Serene. Waqe kaikai. Waqe savasava. Ronnie Chang Nadi

Class performance

Another scintillating performance from our sevens boys which will be hard to forget. Even the commentators were running out of superlatives to describe Fiji’s magnificent performance. What was even more exciting was that in the genuine act of sportsmanship the players lifted the girl carrying the ball into the air while they said their final prayer. The boys played like men possessed, hungry for a win. The final was just like adding gloss to the stellar performance. Fiji outplayed USA who probably were just wandering what had happened to them as they had no answers. Who can forget the fans as they came out in big numbers to support the team. What an amazing feeling to be a Fijian. The win has sent the fans and supporters on to a new level of euphoria. I am sure this will be the talk of the town for now at least. For Baber and the team you deserve heaps of accolades. As for now let’s put aside everything and celebrate Fiji’s win. PRANIL RAM Votualevu, Nadi

Top award

Gareth Baber deservedly received the UL Mark of Excellence award. In his interview, he said vinaka vakalevu in the Fijian accent and added by praising the Almighty for giving power and strength. Baber has assembled a team which will require extraordinary efforts and talent to break into. There is a lot of depth and the current players have the versatility to cover more than one position. According to veteran commentator Willie Lose, the reigning champions defended their title in Hamilton, Suva. The players with their video game moves were in a class of their own. The defensive and disciplined attacking approach enabled the team to leapfrog and lead the overall points standing. This means that the team is in prime position for an automatic qualification spot in the 2020 summer Olympics. As for the thrilling final, in true Fijian charisma and hospitality, the ball girl was hoisted high before kickoff. After the presentations, New Zealand and USA players joined the victorious Fiji players around the podium. The rivalry on the field was left behind as players conversed and shared a few laughs. The player of the final Jerry Tuwai, Terio Tamani’s above his weight tackling, Ratu Meli Derenalagi’s rugby ball glued hands, pacy try scoring machines Alasio Naduva, Aminiasi Tuimaba and Waisea Nacuqu, steady tackler and playmaker Vilimoni Botitu and our blockbusting forwards produced a stunning performance for the 38-0 whitewash. A few minutes into the second half, it had become ominous and firecrackers were already exploding in Fiji synonymous with the jubilant fans in predominantly blue Hamilton, Suva. Did anyone catch a white jumper under the posts receiving the last conversion? After this mesmerising display, I can’t wait for the weekend to arrive. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Lifetime experience

It was really awesome and such a kind deed by our sevens super men to raise the “ball girl” before the final. I reckon this must have been a lifetime experience for the little one and I bet she would be the talk of the town around New Zealand and all over the world. Indeed, little one will be such a celebrity! Fly high Fiji. Shamal Chand Kuku Bau Rd, Nausori

Top sevens achievement

Congratulations are in order for the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team for their achievement at the Hamilton 7s. The score 38-0 against the USA was just superb. We thank you for your hard work and dedication. While we sit in the comforts of our homes, you are the ones taking the toll of the weather, regardless of it being cold or hot. You sweat and get tired, yet you keep running after that ball to bring us glory. We are proud of you boys and may God give you strength to continue to strive for the best. Thanks for making Fiji proud. We are standing tall only because of you all. To the coach, a special thanks to you as well. Thanks for keeping our boys on track and molding them. A good leader can make so much difference and help build a team. Kirti Patel Mohan Singh Place, Lautoka

What a final in Hamilton

What a final it was at Hamilton NZ, taking out USA and now we are equal on the points table. We give thanks to all our players and coach and officials who are working so hard to keep the standard of play up to par. Vinaka. All glory goes to our Almighty God, Phil 4.13 and as is the normal prayer. The games were exciting and just too good to watch as our most difficult game was against Australia, and of course the South Africans which was nail biting so to speak, keeping most of us on the edges of our seats. Thanks to our gladiators, they came through with amazing moves that even the commentator said no team can play like Fiji. The fans were so lovely, and it was great to see so many of them there in Hamilton. Vinaka to our heros of the 7s game. You all sure rocked Hamilton. Toso Viti, toso. Waraka namaka Sydney. God Bless Fiji. RICHARD M ABEL Suva

Brilliant display

It was a brilliant display of sevens by our gladiators in Hamilton as we clinched the title back-to-back on Sunday. The boys made the perfect surgical strike as Baber’s men claimed their second successive win in the WR Sevens Series. The atmosphere at the FMG Stadium made it feel like the boys were playing at home and I think it was one of the instrumental factors which brought home the title. Even the commentators spoke highly of the Fijian crowd and made it look as if Hamilton was in Fiji. As expected, every member of the Fiji team played gallantly and hats off to the coaching and physio team which aided the boys on and off the pitch. Jerry was phenomenal in the final which saw him take out the player of the final award, but the players who caught my eyes were Tuimaba, Derenalagi and Botitu. These boys are much more inexperienced than the other senior players, but they were on top of their game and deservedly were named in the Hamilton Dream Team. Along with them was the skipper Kalione Nasoko who played outstandingly throughout the two days of action-packed competition. Next up is Sydney and we all know what to expect from team Fiji! Raynav Chand Nakasi

Better than awesome

It was indeed a touching gesture by our flying Fijian champions to hoist the young ball girl and hold her suspended over the team as they prayed before the New Zealand Hamilton Sevens final against the USA. The event was appropriately summed up by the commentator when he said, “Anyone who has been to Fiji will know that if there is a race on earth who are great with children,it is the Fijian people, that is absolutely beautiful!” It was a great start to a great win in front of great supporters! It was better than awesome! SIMON HAZELMAN, Rava Estate, Savusavu

Dream team

The Hamilton 7s Dream Team has four Fijians and three Americans. Power-packed Derenalagi, King of off-loads Nasoko, gas man Tuimaba and rookie Botitu joined Pinkelman, Isles and Niua but the player of the final Tuwai missed the cut. Congratulations to our warriors and especially to the young guns Fili and Dere! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Well done boys

The Fiji Airways national 7s team successfully defended their title in the 2019 Hamilton 7s in a strong finish defeating the USA 38-0. Spectacular mesmerising performance by our boys brought pride and dignity to all Fijians. Fiji absolutely dominated the USA to claim back-to-back Hamilton titles, going neck-to-neck on 57 points with the USA on the points table. Vinaka vakalevu to the world’s best sevens rugby team and to our coach Gareth Baber for all their hard work, inspiration and motivation. Nelson Narayan Lautoka

School grants

Do the schools still have easy access to the school grants given by the Government? Sukha Singh Labasa

Different route

This week, I spiced up my journey from my place to Suva by travelling a different route along Princes Rd. I’m glad I did that because my travel time was only 1.2 hours, as opposed to the 2.4 hours it took along the Kings Rd last week. Samuela Savu Farm Rd, Nakasi

Cane land

WE are now talking about halting the conversion of flat agricultural land in the peri-urban areas into commercial and residential lots. I believe the damage is already done and it’s too late in the day to reverse the situation. The horse has already bolted. I believe all these developments have been taking place right under our noses for over a decade and nothing was done about it. I believe we all know very well why this is happening. It’s spurned by the growing demand emanating from the shortage of land space within the municipalities and greater return for the lease holders. Now who wouldn’t want that? It’s a pity some people don’t understand simple economics. So let’s stop moaning about it when we have bigger fish to fry. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

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