Naiyala girls ready

Action from Annual National Provincial Girls 7s tournament at Albert Park in Suva on Saturday. Picture: ATU RASEA

Being the only rural school in the Annual National Provincial Girls 7s competition, Naiyala High School was ready to stamp its mark in the local women’s rugby competition.

The 13 players left Naiyala in Wainibuka, Tailevu at 5.30am and were the first ones to arrive at Albert Park on Saturday for the annual competition.

Schoolteacher and team manager Unaisi Gaunavou said the girls were ecstatic to compete against Adi Cakobau School, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial High School, and Jasper Williams High School.

“We received last-minute information yesterday (Friday) for us to form a team and take part in the provincial games today,” she said.

“The team consists of young players who have been developed by the coaches, and they played for the Tailevu under-19 team.

“It was a good exposure and eye-opener for them to be here in Suva.

“For the players, we had to give them words of encouragement, and coming out during warm-up they are confident of playing against the strong teams.”

Gaunavou said even though they did not have access to rugby training kits, the players gave their best.

“We used the Naiyala High School ground to train after school.

“I know the girls are fit enough.

“To participate we almost got the whole team that played in the Raluve competition.

“Few of our players are 14 years old and 15 years old while the rest are 18 years old.

“Unfortunately, the transport we had only one minivan, just to bring these 13 girls we could have brought 30 of them.

“My message to young girls is if you wish to don the national jumper and represent Fiji, you just have to work hard towards it.

“That’s what I’ve been telling the girls at Naiyala, you can’t just wait for it, you will need a lot of sacrifice and dedication.”

Naiyala High School lost to Lilian Amazon and Marist Rugby Club in the U19 grade.

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