Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, September

Fiji Water Flying Fijians captain, Waisea Nayacalevu runs straight at the Wales defence during the 2023 Rugby World Cup opening match at the Bordeaux Metropole Stadium in France yesterday. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA

Flying Fijians capable of beating Wallabies

Veteran sports journalist Rodney Duthie, who is covering the RWC tournament in France, hit the nail with his message that the FIJI Water Flying Fijians will need to turn things around and beat the Wallabies in six days’ time to keep their hopes of qualifying to the quarter finals alive. A loss at the hands of our nemesis will close our hopes of a quarter final berth. The Flying Fijians have faced the Wallabies in two consecutive RWCs since the 2007 55-12 thrashing, and on both occasions, Fiji went down to the Wallabies 28-13 and 39-21, respectively, so beating them will be a mammoth task. The Wallabies beat Georgia 35-15 with a solid display from the likes of Ben Donaldson, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Rob Valetini, Taniela Tupou, Will Skelton and Tate McDermott. However, if the heart desires, then nothing is impossible. We must ensure that every given opportunity via penalty is converted into points. Defence must be top draw, while we must minimise handling errors. The boys have grabbed two bonus points from the loss to Wales. This is a good sign as it builds confidence heading to the do-or-die clash versus Eddie Jones’ boys. The nation is right behind the team. It’s now or never. Tovolea mada boys! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu

Mysterious illness

My heartfelt condolences go out to the immediate family members of the residents of Balevuto, Nacaci, Nukuloa, and Toge who have lost loved ones to the unknown illness that has struck their community. Seven residents have passed away while others are suffering from gastrointestinal aches and diarrhoea. (FT 11/09) Hopefully, the cause of this ailment and appropriate treatments can be discovered soon so that additional innocent lives in the area can be saved. DINESH KUMAR Ba

Teacher resignations

The revelation in Parliament by Minister for Education that 441 teachers resigned in 2023 is a cause for concern. Teacher resignations have far-reaching implications, impacting students, as well as the overall quality of education delivery. Teacher resignations cannot be prevented, as teachers may leave for better opportunities or personal reasons. The group most affected by these resignations is the students. Finding a replacement teacher to fill the vacant position created by a resignation is not always immediate; it can take weeks or even months. During this period, students’ education is disrupted and when a replacement teacher is found, they often have to rush through the syllabus to cover the material in a limited time frame. Consequently, this situation significantly impacts students’ final exam results. It is crucial to promptly address the underlying issues that lead to teacher resignations, as they are negatively affecting our students. SANJEET PRASAD Mani Rd., Bulileka, Labasa

Control poverty

The fearful communities urgently seeking police interventions to control crime is everyone’s concern for peaceful living as highlighted by the police (FT 10/9). I feel the perpetrators and some people in the communities work very closely in this well known illicit drug dealing trade leading to poverty and increasing crime. As the rates of poverty increase, so do the rates of crime. Control poverty first. Tahir Ali Hamilton, New Zealand

Countless blunder

Weak officiating proved costly for Fiji in the Rugby World Cup, in the Flying Fijians vs Wales game. The whistle man Mathew Carley throughout the contest was weak in his officiating with his referee assistants and technicians. The 32- 26 loss by Flying Fijians proved to be costly as a result of weak officiating. It’s just the start and such weaker officiating Fiji deserves if we don’t protest. Grey officiating killed and punished the Flying Fijians. Even with heavy technology in the stadium, the Flying Fijians were robbed. Many say this was due to human error. The match was a high profile match in the tournament and I believe the referee made countless blunders and was not consistent through the match. Rugby is in the hearts and in the blood of Fijians and such acts have killed the spirit of the Fiji fans. Definitely the Flying Fijians will bounce back in the other matches. Come on the World Rugby, do justice to all the participating teams in the World Cup. Indar Deo Bisun Sakoca Heights, Tamavua

Grace Road

Fijians all over Fiji need to know why this great investor is being hassled by Government or what wrong have they done? Before our Coalition Government came into power and when they were in opposition I believe they did not like Grace Road so may we ask our Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs Pio Tikoduadua to please highlight the wrong they have done for the sake of transparency. Tukai Lagonilakeba Nadi

Not impossible

Hear ye! Hear ye! My fellow proud country men and women. The FIJI Water Flying Fijians have the total and desired package to claim a sweet victory over favourites, the Wallabies, in our second pool match, come 3.45am Monday, Sept 18. Be humble. Play your very best for 85-plus minutes. Victory for you against the fancied Wallabies, is not an impossible task. Trust yourselves. In the name of true sportsmanship, we need to put the 2023 RWC loss to Wales behind us. True, the 16th Welsh player denied Fiji, certain victory. His officiating was poor. The Flying Fijians must move on proudly, eliminate niggling disciplinary matters, cut out dropped passes, no knock on, do not spill ball over the try line. We possess all the necessary prerequisites to prevail, admirably. Tidy up all these grey areas and victory stares at us. Almost every proud Fijian on the face of our earthly home, wishes our national team every success in this year’s rugby World Cup campaign. Toso tiko Viti, toso tale. Mo ni kalougata tiko. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

Rugby vs soccer

Why has Fijian rugby progressed in leaps and bounds over soccer? Is it because of the right development programs from the grass roots? Is it do with leadership and coaching? What is it? The one thing that sticks out is, rugby players seem to thrive in the area of personal body conditioning for their sport. Their personal commitment to physical and mental preparation is second to none in the world. And if you look at professional soccer players overseas at the top of their game, you’ll find they train between 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. And they stick to a strict dietary program to help ensure peak fitness and performance. Their strict training routine prepares them physically and mentally for the gruelling commitment to their sport. And they get paid well to do it. In Fiji, it’s the other way around. Certain soccer officials get paid handsomely while the players don’t. Take the players out of the equation and there’s no sport. Unless Fijian soccer gets up to speed with the overseas clubs in terms of a professional set-up, soccer will never see the light of day on the world cup stage. But before any progress is possible to equal rugby’s success, an internal restructure must happen within the current administration to take soccer to the next level. It will require an organisational restructure as a starting model to lift the sport from the doldrums it finds itself in. People who know how to bring all the pieces together will be required to begin the transformation of the sport. It’ll require inspirational leadership qualities that are currently lacking in this administration. As with any successful organisation, strong inspirational leadership filters from the top down not the other way around. When there’s strong leadership leading the way the cream will rise to the top. It’s not rocket science. Colin Deoki Australia

Refer to TMO

Well done Levani, honesty and integrity at the highest level. World Rugby acknowledged this highest level of professionalism. This brings me to the other extreme of TMO decisions. First and foremost if the referee in the middle is not sure if a try is been scored why does he have to make the statement upfront that a try has been scored and asks the TMO to confirm? Just don’t make statements and refer everything to TMO full stop World Rugby. If the ball is still in contact on a players fingertip although it moves forward is that a knock on? Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva


AS per need, I think Teti Tela rose to the occasion and performed wonderfully well in the first match. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Space mission

Thank you, Edward Blakelock of Pacific Harbour, for providing the necessary addendum to my previous letter titled “India’s space mission.” Wishing the eight-member ISRO team currently in Fiji all the very best of luck and hope that they consider Fiji to be part of their research. DINESH KUMAR Ba

Onward Fiji

A draw and pass from the captain would have put everyone to rest, but he opted for a cut out pass. It is what it is, onward forward Viti. Isa o ref, have pity on him folks! AREKI DAWAI Suva

Bring in Ben

It is not too late, bring in Ben Volavola if possible and let Tuisova play full time. Sukha Singh Labasa

Parliament seat

It seems such a travesty that someone with less than 500 votes and ranked 118 or thereabouts in the number of votes garnered, gets to sit in Parliament while nearly 60 candidates with more votes don’t get a look-in. Seen another way, even if there were two Parliaments instead of one, this person wouldn’t have won a seat if election was on the basis of ‘first-to-the-post’. I believe it shows how the Constitution is designed. Inoke Vakalabure Yasiyasi Rd, Nadera, Nasinu

Road rules

Nowadays motorists do not care two hoots about our road rules specially speed limits. Should you try to correct them they have the audacity to honk back. It’s disappointing that our drivers are still lagging when it comes to other road users’ rights. We should educate motorists to be more civic-minded. Param Singh Navua

Environment award

Thanks to Rouhit Singh of Lautoka City Council for winning the environment award for Lautoka City Council. Mr Singh can you please look into the dump fire as smoke from the dump has been affecting us residents for the past two months now. Department of Environment please wake up and see how our environment is affected by this burning. Geoffrey Chand Lautoka

That quote

Hear! Hear! Kaila! Reference is made to Wise Muavono (FT 11/9). I like your call very much. Quote: “They should allow players to tackle the ref in situation like this.” Unquote. Just had hearty laugh to start the day. Good one, sir. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

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