Letters to the Editor – June 27

Luke Page of the PNG Kumuls takes a hit from Tui Kamikamica of the Fiji Bati during their test match last weekend. Picture: NRL

Taking the risk

THERE is something special about the PNG Kumuls which make them play with passion and aggression whenever they take on the Fiji Bati.
Watching the all-important clash over the weekend, it does make one wonder whether our Fiji rugby league officials ought to take the risk by allowing several more local-based players to play in international matches.
Can we forget about winning for now by exposing more local-based players to international rugby?
Come to think of it, at the end of the match the predominantly overseas-based players would return to play top grade rugby, something our local-based players may be lacking.
Also what does the future hold for our local-based players?
Are we sending a message that their chances of making Test matches or World Cups is almost negligible?
For the sake of the development of our local-based talent, it’s about time we take the risk. One may be surprised with the passion and commitment of our local players if they are given the opportunity.
It’s worth taking the risk. FLOYD ROBINSON, Toorak, Suva

Rugby effort
Our national team’s performance against Samoa and Tonga was really questionable. About 95 per cent of the players were Europe contracted with few well recognised as valuable players of the year. And yet the type of game that surfaced was very scrappy and sloppy. It seemed like there was no coordination and cohesion besides the coaching aspect. It was only our Fijian flair that became effective at times. Otherwise, there would have been nothing going. They were outmuscled and outplayed in every area including goal kicking. Our overseas players are really over rated and FRU has to change its perspective so that we don’t have to rely on them at all times. Please FRU. Give our local players ample opportunities to prove their worth. With the current trend, most of them would retire at provincial rugby level. Samu Silatolu, Nakasi

Specialist care
It is good to read about the Friends of Fiji Health group providing much needed specialist health care services to the people of Labasa. They are looking after complex patient illnesses and are bringing services to our people that may otherwise be accessible in overseas hospitals.
At the same time our medical professionals get exposed to the wealth of knowledge and new skills that will help them in improving specialist care locally.
The FOFH is a group of former Fiji medical professionals. A big vinaka vakalevu for coming and providing much needed specialist health care. I hope they bring their services to the other parts of Fiji. Vineet Chand, Rakiraki

Roadside fencing
Fiji Roads Authority needs to lighten up on road policies and take a proactive stance towards roadside fencing by property owners along highways.
Current policy stipulates that fencing must not be within 10 metres from the centre of the highway. While there are verified reasoning for this, other factors must be considered to enable property owners to fence up closer.
Current roadside cleaning and maintenance is carried out within 2 metres from the side of the road which leaves 3-4 metres of space left to bush out! In the majority of areas it also includes the drains.
By allowing to fence at least 3 metres out property owners will be supporting government by keeping sides of highways neat and tidy.
If government remains steadfast with current rules than they ought to play their part and maintain the 10 metre space on both sides of the road.
In cases of roadside fencing there should be exceptions to the rules! Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Countdown starts
The Fiji Times front and back page pictures on your Tuesday edition kick starts another Super Rugby thriller in Suva.
Champagne rugby just after the June tests will start the final round of Super Rugby matches.
It is another year where Fiji can prove to the world that yes we are ready to host big matches. After Samoa’s big failure to host a Super Rugby match last year, the organisers were hesitant on another Pacific venue but Fiji no doubt has proven otherwise.
The fans are so passionate, the venue and the hospitality is taking the game to another level in Fiji. Super Rugby teams no doubt are looking at Fiji as their second home .Just imagine an Australian conference match with so many of our own Fijian players coming home to play. For now its Naholo and Nabure to share the limelight. Go Fiji, show the world the way we are … Viti kei na vuravura…mana magic. Shalwyn Prasad, Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Super Rugby thriller
After the success of the BNZ Crusaders and Gallagher Chiefs encounter, local fans will get a taste of top NZ rugby between the Pulse Energy Highlanders and Gallagher Chiefs on Saturday in round 17 of the Super Rugby.
This is the return match and one which is hosted by the third-ranked Highlanders in the NZ conference.
The Chiefs, who are ranked fourth with 37 points, trail the Highlanders by three points.
They have bagged eight wins compared with the Highlanders’ nine and will try to win to cement a place in the top eight.
The last meeting on March 30 at FMG Stadium in Waikato went in favour of the Chiefs (27-22).
Fans are waiting for an opportunity to get autographs and selfies.
Sales of rugby jerseys have skyrocketed and I believe there is a mad rush for tickets.
Because the Chiefs and Highlanders belong to the NZ conference and the battle will be lively, I’m not going to miss the opportunity to be part of the fun and entertainment although I still reckon that the presence of the mighty Crusaders would have brought more joy.
To our Fijian fans, let’s give the Chiefs and Highlanders a taste of our ‘bula’ spirit and wonderful Fijian hospitality.
To our Fijian brothers in the Highlanders team (Nabura and All Black star Naholo), welcome home boys and thank you for making Fiji proud with your fine performances, speed, thrills and scintillating tries. Cheers! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Down memory lane
Reading Allen Lockington’s letter (FT 26/06) titled “Down memory lane”, it urged me to share my own experiences and reflection about life — linking it to one of the most popular words of this modern era which is “development”.
I remembered when I grew up in my village in Qeleni in the ’70s and ’80s, people fetched drinking water from a spring nearby — used the river for washing and used kerosene light to brighten up the night or benzine light for those who could afford it.
During this particular era, even though life was difficult compared with now, nevertheless, people were very resilient that they went about their daily lives without complaining that there was no water or light (electricity).
In the late ’80s, development came to the village — water was brought to people’s doorsteps — electricity lit up every house through a village generator. People celebrated and were happy about the “development”.
Years later, piped water was damaged by flood and the village generator was not functioning well because of lack of fuel or damaged parts, and here I hear people first complain that there was no water nor light.
Things that were non issues before the development took place, such as water and electricity, have now become issues.
Over the years, I have come to notice that even though on one hand “development” may have simplified life or made life easier, however, on the other hand it has made people very reliant and less resilient. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Nadi Town
Doesn’t it look odd that the Queens highway runs through the middle of Nadi Town? Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Drugs operation
One of my mates drew my attention to the report on the drug find. He said, “The authorities had a ‘joint’ operation”. Excuse the pun. Allen Lockington
Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Soccer’s disgrace
FIFA motto: Respect, Fair Play. We witness very little of that in the World Cup matches.
What we see instead is the beautiful game being brought into disgrace by the on-field behaviour of some players and the off-field behaviour of some team officials. Rajend Naidu, Sydney, Australia

Insurance scheme
The motor vehicle third party insurance scheme has been taken over by the Government and I believe the insurance companies increased the premium on other insured items.
Two problems faced in Fiji are health care and structural damage during natural disasters.
The budget is around the corner and may I ask our Finance Minister if he can do a similar thing for health and house structure insurance like what he did with third party insurance. Something affordable will be really appreciated. John Brown, Drasa, Vitogo, Lautoka

Morocco standards
Morocco has shown the whole world that if you exit from the FIFA soccer World Cup, you’re not substandard.
With the unforeseen draw with Spain, I don’t know about their pool standings. Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi

More games
Did you watch the match between Fiji and Tonga on TV?
I made a plea in this column in the past to have many international rugby matches especially here at Churchill Park.
The embankment was overcrowded with spectators.
How’s that? Give us some more games here in Lautoka at Churchill Park. Alex Waqalevu, Lautoka

Bucket of grog
After Fiji’s loss to Tonga, my two mates Wise and Samei were very disappointed.
And they were watching at Churchill Park. I heard that a bucket full of grog was left at the grandstand.
Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka



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