Police 7s team set for Australian event
21 October, 2016, 12:00 am
THE Manasa Bari-coached BLK Police will be the team to beat in the Central Coast Sevens that kicks off this Friday in Australia.
Three members of the Police side preparing for the Sukuna Bowl were released to join the team and will return to Sukuna Bowl preparations on their return.
Mitieli Nacagilevu, Meli Kurisaru and Joeli Lutumailagi joined the side after the change of date for the annual forces event.
The three men will certainly add the extra power and consistency in a side already laced with top local 7s players.
Former national 7s reps and national squad members and upcoming talents groomed by Bari include Livai Ikanikoda, Keponi Paul, Sevu, Tanoa, Esala Tuibua, Eroni Sau, Saula Tawake, Rusiate Matai, Ilisoni Tavaiqia and Sevanaia Nadruku.
The side had been in camp for two solid weeks and the players reckoned they have done enough to conquer any opposition they face this weekend.
Paul is the speedster and he has played a few tournaments for Fiji in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
More exposure will give him the confidence to run around his opponents and make the breaks when there is an opening as he does locally.
Lutumailagi, a former national 7s rover and winger has found his old form and he is more bustling than ever.
He has been in consistent form for Nadroga this season and he is eyed to fill in the vacuum in the national side left by reps who have taken up overseas offers.
Nacagilevu has also been in action for Nadroga often coming off the bench and all it takes is one good showing in a top competition to give him and his coaches full confidence in his ability to return to his former form as one of the country’s most gifted 7s players.
His footwork, speed, timing and eye for try-scoring opportunities will be the secret weapon for Police this weekend.
Leading the charge in the forwards is Nadruku, who was named by Waisele Serevi as the Best Player in the Coral Coast Sevens which Police won early this year.
He left to play a couple of months in Malaysia and is back.
After Pio Tuwai was injured before the Wellington Sevens national sevens team officials had sought him out but he had already flown to Malaysia.
Serevi had selected him for best player and described Nadruku as the ideal 7s prop and did everything a player in that position was supposed to be doing.
He is a former Nadroga flanker and national 7s squad member.
Ikanikoda still has the mesmerizing footwork and sleight of hands that once made him Fiji’s top playmaker before injury kept him out in Alivereti Dere’s team.
Kurisaru has been knocking on the door for national duties for a couple of years and he has something to prove as a utility player who can tackle and his kicking ability can make him another playmaker in the national sevens team.
He is the younger brother of Napolioni Nalaga and is just waiting for the right opportunity and has been a matchwinner for Suva.