If you’ve been following Skipper women’s games from last year and the starting of this season (last two weeks) then you’ll realize how local women’s competition has definitely reached another phase.
It’s exciting to see that our women’s provincial teams are injecting more young women into their squad as these upcoming players are the new waves of women’s rugby in the country, and they’re the ones that are lighting up the field and building a high momentum in our women’s competition.
All these young players are opting for a chance to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand, and their quest for selection is a factor that gives rise to the high competition momentum we’re witnessing since round 1 of 2020 Skipper Cup.
Current Skipper Cup Women’s Champion, Tailevu consists of some very talented and young players most of whom play club rugby at the Tailevu club competition. The youngest player is a 16-year-old student of Vunimono High school Vani Bainivalu who debut for Tailevu in the first round against Namosi. Tailevu also got a few Fijiana players in their squad with the likes of Pricilla Siata and Aloesi Nakoci. Their gameplay is pretty good as they’re fast on breakdowns and are good at keeping the balling flowing creating a bit of chaos for the opposition. Tailevu won their first match against Namosi 24-7 while they lost to Lautoka in the second round which goes on to show just how unpredictable our women’s teams are as all teams are up at another level.
Naitasiri women’s team meant business coming into the 2020 Skipper Cup competition starting the season on a winning streak, Naitasiri beat Lautoka in the first round and again beat Nadi in round two, accumulating bonus points on both wins which put them on top of the Skipper points table. Naitasiri team consist of some experienced players from Fijiana 7s like Tokasa Seniyasi and Lavenia Tinai and also from the XVs with the likes of captain Sereima Leweniqila and a few others, mixed with upcoming talented players like all other provincial teams, this mixture speed up the player’s development helping take the competition caliber to another level. Naitasiri is a well-structured team that always follow through their playbook and like to keep at a fast play.
A very young side trying to find their rhythm in the starting of 2020 Skipper Cup after losing their first two rounds, Nadi will probably be looking at a comeback when they’ll take on Suva this weekend. It will be an uphill battle when Nadi takes on Suva aiming to upset the capital side. Led by Fijiana veteran prop Lailanie Burnes, Nadi has a very good forward pack that knows how to work their game around scrums and breakdowns. Nadi is anticipating a tough clash against Suva where they’re also aiming for a home victory.
Namosi is another young side that’s very swift on their attack and are also good at their defense. After going down to Tailevu in the first round 24-7, Namosi came into the second round with an intend to beat the stallions which didn’t go their way as Nadroga clinched the win on a very close margin 20-17 showing how Namosi came into this game prepared. Namosi will take on Naitasiri this weekend where they’ll be looking to explore the Naitasiri defense through their fast attack and also aiming to get their first win on home turf.
Newcomer into the competition, Yasawa is an example of how women’s rugby in Fiji is growing and developing. Comprising mostly of young players, the Yasawa rugby team consists of many interested young women to the game of rugby, and these players have really evolved as the team climbs up the ladder in terms of competition. Yasawa beat Nadi in the first round 22-7 and lost to Suva last weekend 29- 12, they’ll take on Lautoka this Friday at Prince Charles Park Nadi.
Previously promoted to the Skipper Cup this year with Yasawa, the Lautoka Maroons looks to stamp their mark in the Skipper Women’s division. Even though they lost their first game against points leader Naitasiri, Lautoka went on to beat current champions Tailevu in round 2 stunning the fans and showing they meant business. Solid on both their attack and defense, Lautoka will definitely be trouble for the rest of the teams. Fijiana XVs flyhalf Lavenia Cavuru is an x-factor for the Lautoka side and is a player worth watching for as she definitely brings a bit of magic to her game and always wow the fans.
Nadroga lost their first game against Suva but manage to secure a victory in the second round against Namosi. The Nadroga team is a well-structured side that executes their game plan pretty well. Fullback Reapi Uluinasau is a player to look out for, young and not so big of in size but a very capable player that slides through any defense line at any point of the game from any part of the field, Reapi surely is an outstanding player that should be watched out for, she scored a hattrick last weekend against Namosi and will be looking to add more to her try list this weekend when Nadroga takes on Tailevu
Suva won their first and second round against Nadroga and Yasawa both with bonus points and they are sitting at second place on the women’s points table behind Naitasiri. Suva’s attack are the team’s main strength looking at how fast they keep the ball flowing and their offload game is also a crucial factor of how they manage to keep their fast pace. Also consisting of experienced and young players, the Suva team is one of the best women’s team in the country with high momentum and caliber in the team. The capital side takes on Nadi this weekend at prince Charles Park Nadi.