Mixed emotional reactions

AS rugby fans anticipate an action-packed weekend, the turn of events in some quarters over the past few days has drawn different emotional reactions.

The plane crash in Kenya which killed two Fijians attracted early reaction on the internet.

Pastor Sakaraia Mataka and his son Paula, 15, were among eight passengers and two crew members killed on Tuesday.

They were on their way from Kitale to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. What would have tugged at the heartstrings was the revelation that they were actually heading home to Fiji.

The incident serves to remind us of the harsh reality of life, and how fragile it can be.

The huge emotional response would have stemmed from the realisation that there were Fijians killed in the crash.

We remember the families affected by this tragedy, and pray they will find peace and reassurance somehow.

The turn of events on Bau Island also attracted massive attention early yesterday morning. On the sports field, today is D-day for the Flying Fijians.

We take on the might of Manu Samoa at the National Stadium in Suva.

The traditional Pacific rivalry is set to take centre stage.

The Flying Fijians, now a force to reckon with in the set pieces, will come up against a Samoan side eager to brush off the cobwebs that have stuck on their campaigns in recent years.

National coach John McKee has nurtured a major improvement in our set pieces, specifically targeting our scrums and line-outs.

This has laid a strong platform for the Flying Fijians to stretch top international sides to the wire.

The inclusion of top players from around the world adds strength to the side and hopefully will give fans an opportunity to witness first class rugby action.

However, there can be no doubts about where the masses will be focused on today.

Gareth Baber and the national sevens side have a massive task at hand.

Today is day one of our final assault to topple South Africa from the pedestal reserved for the number one side in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

We must reach the semi-finals of the tournament this weekend to win the series.

The challenge though is to be consistent from our first game against Samoa at 8.50pm.

We take on Kenya at 11.46pm and come up against New Zealand in our final pool game at 5.14am.

The onus is on skipper Jerry Tuwai and the team to maintain discipline throughout the tournament.

We must do the little things right today and tomorrow. We must believe — we can.

Now more than ever the national side needs our support.

Once again, we have an opportunity to cheer on our teams as a nation, casting aside all imaginary demarcation lines.

Go Fiji, go.

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