We will develop our own game pattern

Vodafone Vanua XV captain Taniela Liwa, left, with his teammates before the i-tatau ceremony at Borron House in Suva on Monday October 29, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Vodafone Vanua XV rugby team is confident of raising the standard of local rugby after the Fiji Airways Drua side set a benchmark on Saturday by becoming the first non- Australian team to win the National Rugby Championship.

The Vanua team presented its itatau to the President of the Republic of Fiji Jioji Konrote yesterday before they embarked on a new pathway of development against the Heartland XV rugby team in New Zealand.

Head coach Inoke Male said they were aware of the expectations from the fans and opponents after a gallant display by the Fijian Drua last Saturday in Lautoka.

“We had just started training together and most of the boys will play for the first time together so we will try and develop our own game pattern and style of rugby that will be unique,” Male said.

“Most of these players are even travelling overseas for the first time and the first experience is always the toughest and if we can accomplish this mission then I believe we have a long way to go.”

President Konrote challenged the Vanua XV team on their tour to New Zealand knowing the competitiveness of the Kiwi rugby teams.

“Nothing is impossible if you put your mind and spirit into the game I believe you will do great in New Zealand,” Konrote said.

Meanwhile Fiji Rugby Union operations manager Sale Sorovaki also presented the itatau on behalf of the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians team on their Europe tour.

Eight Fiji Drua players departed the country yesterday to join the rest of the players in camp in Toulouse in France with coach John McKee.

Fiji will play Scotland, France and Uruguay during their Europe tour.

The Vanua rugby team will take on Heartland XV on Thursday.

Team; Alivereti Cawanibuka, Jope Naleqwa, Mataiasi Kaulave, Epeli Bulinamasi, Jimilai Ducivaki, Viliame. Nabiau, Saimoni Qauqau, Epeli Radaniva, Rt Meli. Rokotuibau, Kelemete Qiodravu, Emosi Rakari, Joweli Bose, Semi. Naisevuniwai, Taniela Liwa (capt), Eroni Naua, Daniele Tabukuru, Nacanieli Batina, Aisake Sovakiwai, Sefanaia Baleitavua, Petero Tuwai, Joeli Dulaki, Paula Vueti, Seveci Tora, Emori Ratu, Malakai Cagi, Eliki. Naikusa, Iowane Teba.

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