When your team is leading the competition for tries scored, metres run, carries, offloads, defenders beaten and line breaks, there must be something working in attack.
Arguement could be made that consistency is king, but for the four games played in the Fiji Airways Drua season so far, no two back line combination has been the same, and yet the stats continue to rise.
For squad members Apisalome Waqatabu, Frank Lomani, Jone Manu and Asaeli Atunaisa the secret is in the familiarity between players but the unpredictability of playing style.
“We start with a structure and a game plan, and work into the game, then when the opportunity presents, our individual skills kick in.” said Lomani.
“Many of us know each other from last season or have played club together, but more than that, it’s our ability to let the individual’s skill shine that makes the difference.”
To the outside fan, the interchanging of positions and shuffling of combinations each week may appear seamless but Manu assures there is no easy day at the office for the Drua.
“No one ever said it’s easy, to play different positions and step into different roles, it is hard work.” he said.
“But we focus on our jobs, we know what we have to do and what we can do, and then the game takes care of itself.”
This week’s match against NSW Country Eagles sees another new combination in the backline for the Drua with Lomani and Reece rested, Manu and Daveta in the centre, Kurumudu and Tabulkawaki on the wing and Waqatabu directing from the back.
For the 34 year old Waqatabu, the interchanging nature of the season is exciting and fresh.
“I’m still learning every week. To play with these younger boys and keep challenging ourselves, is good for me personally, but also for our team” he said.
Waqatabu has been the Drua’s most consistent kicker for the week and the team will look to him to provide that accuracy and consistency again on Saturday to seal valuable points.
“Kicking can sometimes be difficult in the different weather conditions, like in Australia it was really windy” he said.
“You just have to keep your mind right, stick to your process, go through the steps and do your best.”
Saturday’s match will see the Drua up against another host of Super Rugby players, but for the smiling assasins in the back line the added pressure just provides more thrill in the contest.
“We love playing against these guys, moving the ball around and toying with them.” said Lomani.
“There is a bit of swearing and chatter on the field from the Aussies, when they give us a big hit or something, they will say something, but we just get up and laugh because we know they’re frustrated.”
Off field there’s no shortage of laughs either in the tight nit group with hooker Ratunaisa Navuma and scrumhalf Peni Matawalu the self appointed entertainers of the team.
“Vuma (Navuma), Peni (Matawalu) and Asa (Atunaisa), they’re the ones, making us laugh, mucking around, being cartoons.” said Manu
With such a tight comraderie and ample stocks of talent on offer this week’s match against NSW Country Eagles is sure to be entertaining in its own right for Fiji Rugby fans.