Letters to the Editor – Monday, March 13, 2023

Iosefo Masi on attack for Fijian Drua against Crusaders during their Super Rugby clash at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Drua victory part of Fiji rugby folklore

CONGRATULATIONS to the Drua in their historic win over the Crusaders. With many first choice Crusaders’ players out of the match day squad it was nonetheless an entertaining match. The last ten minutes was a nailbiter and to come off with a win in the last play of the match was pure magic and will go down in Fiji’s rugby folklore by those who witnessed the occasion. The highlight for me was the matchup on the wing between Eroni Sau and Sevu Reece, like watching two prized fighters having a go at each other pound for pound it was a pleasure to watch their grit, determination and commitment for the game they love. Sau, with his age, is a late bloomer, but matched his younger and elusive opponent. With more games to come it will be exciting to watch what he has in store for fans and rugby enthusiasts. Que the highlights reel, the Sledgehammer is back. SAILOSI NAEWE Naduru Rd, Nausori

Home advantage

“IT will be 15 against 16”, said Scott Barrett before the game. Now, he’s probably going “I told you so”, but quietly regretting saying it. DONALD SINGH Suva

Super win

I BELIEVE it’s a super win for the Fijian Drua. Overcoming the mighty Crusaders, who are one of the most successful rugby union clubs in the world, is not easy. This amazing feat has given the Fijian Drua an unprecedented attention amongst the rugby followers right across the globe. They have set themselves the standards now. I hope there are more wins on the way for the Drua amongst some of the top-rated teams in the competition. PRANIL RAM Whangaparaoa, New Zealand

Seating capacity

THIS is purely a polite observation and not an attempt to dilute last weekend’s historic rugby occasion in Lautoka. For the match itself, Churchill Park was divided into various seating sections accordingly. I suppose seating means the spaces where spectators are to sit which is distinctly clear from spaces allocated for movement. I understand these movement spaces have to be kept clear at all times and in no way meant for spectators to sit or stand around to hinder movement. Last Saturday, all sections except the East Gate were well organised. The passage from Gate 3 (Verona St) was littered with spectators especially those who arrived late. They just stood in the passage obscuring the view of the others. I remember very well the same occurred last year during the Drua-Chiefs clash. With only a couple of police officers to monitor movement in this area, I saw their frustration and they quickly gave up. In my view, the East Grass side appeared to be oversold (stand to be corrected). With two more games coming up, relevant authorities might want to have a look into this. Video footage from the day should be a good place to start from. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Refurbished park

CONGRATULATIONS to the Drua team for winning the game against Crusaders at the refurbished Churchill Park. A big crowd turned up for the game as expected. Something that many of us picked up whole sitting on the grass embankment. The new turn has different kinds of grass growing apart from the grass that the director services talked about in his interview. I worked as a landscaper and I’m aware of different kinds of grass. More than half million was spent on the ground, but with all different species of grass growing the pitch will not last long as invasive species of grass will kill the grass that was supposed to grow. The other thing that many saw was the same score board. Why cant LCC have a digital score board like Suva? I hope the money spent on the upgrade of Churchill Park was used well. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Drua magic

IN one of the bold predictions made this year with regards to Super Rugby Pacific, rugby pundits tipped the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua side to make the quarters. Their prediction came true as the Drua tamed the defending champions and the most successful team in the history of Super Rugby. What a win, and what a performance from our boys who made a massive statement after last weekend’s disappointing 17- 46 loss to the Waratahs. Our boys played their hearts out, and they played for 80 minutes plus. The big hits and the solid defence resulted in the Crusaders making errors that hurt their chances of a win. I salute the crowd for being the 16th player. The sea of blue lifted the morale and momentum of the boys who stole the game in extra time. It was no easy feat beating the Crusaders which is loaded with talent. Fans enjoyed the match which will go down in history. A lot of Drua boys have raised their hands for the Flying Fijians, and I plead with FRU to give them a fair chance. Why not let the Drua take on Europe’s possible, and then selecting the team for the RWC! That will make sure the best is chosen! RAJNESH LINGAM BALGOVIND RD, NADAWA, NASINU

Drua crusade

AND so they achieved a miracle. The Drua did its own crusade and almost what was deemed impossible, by defeating them at the pinnacle. Although by only one point, the knights from the Canterbury Plains, was beaten fair and square, in a fast paced in your face game. This was by a sixteen member team. Other teams that will play here, will be shaking in their rugby boots and try to miss the flight in utter fear, or throw in the towel with the rugby law books. Oilei ! One can only dream, after the results from Lautoka city.EDWARD BLAKELOCK ADMIRAL CIRCLE, PACIFIC HARBOUR

Significance of Vatanitawake

IN the run up to the historic installation of Ratu Epenisa Cakobau as Tui Kaba, little commentary was made about the Vatanitawake, the traditional name for the bure kalou (spirit house) of the Bauan chiefs and its significance in the years before powerful warlord, Serukaria converted to Christianity and christened himself, Seru Cakobau. What we see today is a replica of the original bure kalou, however, it sits on the same mound where humans were buried alive, possibly of some Tongan warriors captured at the Battle of Kaba in 1855. At the foot of the mound was a killing stone on which bokola met their gruesome end. As a symbol of power, both religious and secular, the Vatanitawake provided the perfect backdrop for the solemn traditional conferral ceremony of veivakagunuvi. This was the same ground where Ratu Epenisa’s great-great grandfather Seru Cakobau and the confederate chieftains held council more than one hundred and fifty years ago. The timing and occasion was also fitting when the incumbent Vunivalu Na Tui Kaba and paramount chief of Kubuna confederacy offered an invitation to hold the first meeting of the “revived” Great Council of Chiefs on Bau island later this year. SAMU RAILOA Nadi

Traditional buiniga

MOST respectfully, with every tact and diplomacy, the very traditional buiniga hair style is very beautiful, in my humble view. I acknowledge wholeheartedly that these are truly changing times. Our younger generation prefer the Western “touch” and moving in greater numbers getting their nice, natural and beautiful buiniga straightened out and heavily “gelled”. This is their time leaning heavily to Westernisation. The new taste of times, keeping up with the “Joneses” – as they say. Sa yawa !!! RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Controversial action

THE Sunday Times writer Shanelle Prasad’s historical article on the life of the Reverend Langham’s life in Fiji does not mention what was probably the reverend’s most controversial action in Fiji, namely his involvement in persuading the Lovoni people to surrender to Ratu Cakabau’s forces in 1871. The story of the infamous feast still causes ructions today. The Lovoni people came to Levuka on June 30 to give their submission and four days later over 1000 returned to Levuka where they were “portioned out” to various applicants. Perhaps this second gathering was done under the pretense of a feast? TERRY HULME Australia

Pork product

RECENTLY, a contributor to this column queried as to why our local McDonald’s did not offer pork products on their restricted menu. I believe they are yet to respond. I wonder what’s taking them so long to draft a retort. As a “pork gastronome”, I consider such tactless stance being employed by this fast food giant as self-centred, as it indeed limits one’s freedom of choice in a new democratic Fiji. “Maccas” should perhaps take a cue out of Burger King when it comes to menu selections. NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

President Xi

THE news that China’s President Xi secured a precedent-breaking third term with the 3000-member rubber stamping national congress endorsement comes as no surprise. Under the Chinese communist political system there was no opposition or opponent to produce any other outcome. RAJEND NAIDU Sydney, Australia

News medium

A BIG thank you to The Fiji Times for maintaining the same level of news, sports and feature articles. Thank you for standing up during those tough times and I’m sure your reporters will always give balance news to us readers. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Let us know

COULD the Minister for Finance let us know the qualifications of everyone in the Fiscal Committee SUKHA SINGH Labasa

Traffic lights

MAYBE the relevant authority should install traffic lights at all major intersections especially on Grantham Rd. In addition, crossing can also be marked outside schools, cemeteries, and places of worship. This will add value to our beautiful country. Please listen Fiji Road Authority. ASISH VINAY PRASAD Park Rd, Raiwasa

Road deaths

IT is so very sad that road fatalities have increased remarkably from last year. The quality of driving habits has deteriorated beyond understanding. Too many show off drivers. Speeding on our roads is alarming, even along Queens Rd, Martintar, Nadi. It appears there isn’t enough officers on our roads to make their presence felt. Enough physical presence can serve as an effective deterrent, in my view. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Tuiloa steps down

FRU interim CEO Tevita Tuiloa was verbally asked by the FRU board to step down. I’m sure that has to do with a recent FB post by Tuiloa where he revealed some harsh realities about Fiji rugby player welfare and advocated for better conditions for the players. I guess Tuiloa paid the price for opening a can of worms. Tuiloa also revealed that Jerry Tuwai was waiting for his $33k. ‘ This drew criticism from fans who love and respect him so much. I’m waiting for someone of a high calibre to become the next FRU CEO. RAJNESH LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu


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