Tanivula, Politini assist Natabua

Natabua High School U18 Rugby Captain Tomasi Tutatava. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO

Two of Natabua High School’s former standout old boys have committed themselves to get rugby glory for the Sugar City-based academic institution in the Vodafone Super Deans Championship.

Natabua will face Suva Grammar School in the Super Deans under-18 semi-finals at Prince Charles Park in Nadi tomorrow.

Iliesa Tanivula, the former 100 metre sprint champion from the school who went on to represent the Brumbies, Blues and Highlanders in Super Rugby and also the New Zealand 7s team is one of the technical advisers.

The man from Namotomoto in Nadi has a wealth of coaching knowledge having guided the Fiji men’s 7s and Fijiana 7s teams as well.

Tanivula was part of the Natabua team that lost to Suva Grammar School in the quarter-final of the Deans Trophy championship in 1992.

In the same year there was another student, Cohen Politini who also represented the Natabua in the younger age group level.

Born and bred at the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji compound in Namaka Nadi, Politini attended the Nadi Airport School before joining Natabua for secondary school education.

Cohen, the son of famous rugby commentator Howard Politini, has continued his passion in the sport as a rugby administrator and coach.

He helped Nadi win the Skipper Cup this year as assistant coach. Cohen said it was a good feeling to give back to the school.

“We learnt so much at the school and it has contributed to where we are today,” he said.

“It is a good thing that they (NHS) asked us and we were prepared to help.

“Rugby is a big sport now and it is a good thing to give back to these boys for their future.”

Cohen said they had faced plenty of disruptions this week in the lead-up to the Deans semi-final against Suva Grammar.

“Our school has had its school parade this week and then we have the Fiji Secondary Schools Football Association annual championship on,” he said.

“So the players have to juggle all these commitments and then train. We are not complaining and are doing the best we can.”

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