Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Flying Fijians captain Waisea Nayacalevu on the charge against Australia, 17 September 2023. Australia 15 v 22 Fiji at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne, France. Picture: Martin Seras Lima

Great coach, great team, great win

Patience is a virtue. When we lost to Wales last week, everyone from the players to fans were angry and devastated, but if there was one person that showed no signs of panic or agony it was our national coach Simon Raiwalui. During his post match summary he was gracious in defeat, never blamed anybody and took it on the chin to look at the next mission — the Wallabies. Yesterday morning when the mission was accomplished he was humble in victory, giving credit to his super boys. This is the immaculate qualities of our coach that is taking the team to great heights. Never before have we seen such an accomplished performance, no sign of panic in the coaching box and that speaks volumes. His mission from that humble team bonding in Taveuni, to the team exercise at the sand dunes, hand in hand to his every humble speech, I am speechless. To the coaching team, Harris, Dewes, Cawanibuka, Bai, Talatala Rinakama, Kwoong and not forgetting Mick Byrnes the Drua guru, each and every one that had a helping hand in preparing for this 69-year scalp will be remembered for this great victory. Vinaka number 9 Kuruvoli — my man of the moment. So precious with his kicks that he reminds me of superboot Koroduadua – ’87 World Cup. Joka dina sa lave mai na rara, vacava tacina? Shalwyn Prasad Mukta Ben Place, Nabua, Suva

Startling revelations

The Fiji Times editorial ‘Startling revelations’ (FT 18/9) captures succinctly how under the previous government the rule of law was subverted and the rule of terror imposed especially targeting trade unionists and journalists who had the courage to do their job diligently. The political persecution of Fiji Trade Union Congress general secretary Felix Anthony and The Fiji Times journalist are but two examples of the state of terror Fiji had fallen under during the reign of the post coup regime. There are no doubt many more. Hope the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will shine the light on them and facilitate the healing the nation needs so much. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia Missing part THE soon-to-be established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, has in my humble view, been a missing part of our nation’s efforts towards a more realistic and practical platform for community and national healing. It provides a formal avenue for the collection and proper documentation of ethnic- related forms of atrocities, by conducting hearings, to brings together in a formal setting, with an adjudicator, the victims and perpetrators. The South African example in the post apartheid era, shows that it’s a semi-court type of process that focuses on restorative justice, to help bring closure and healing to victim(s), as well as to encourage offenders to take responsibilities for the “offences” they allegedly perpetrated during apartheid. With its focus on restorative justice, rather than the normal retributive justice, it can in a way, take some of the more arduous processes away from the courts, as well as to focus more on the often forgotten victim(s), while at the same time helping the court in the process. It should help to bring finality and closure, to the many unresolved and deeply-rooted issues that we have, if not a better understanding, satisfaction and appreciation by those who were involved. Edward Blakelock Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

State of soccer

Despite a credible performance by the Fiji U23 football side in Pool Play against NZ U23 during the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier in Auckland, (3-1) loss, when it mattered most, the side was comprehensively beaten 0-9 to the extent of a player being red carded and an own goal by scored. I do not blame the players but Fiji FA for not playing friendly matches as the Oly Whites did prior to the qualifier. Continuously bringing expatriate coaches for the Bula Boys and Kula Girls is still not giving the desired results. They enjoy the hefty salaries and perks, never to be matched by any of our local coaches. What do you have to say Fiji Sports Commission Peter Mazey? The difference is very clear between Fiji Rugby and Fiji Football in terms of performance and world ranking. To the die hard football fans, I believe losses hardly matter to the Fiji FA officials led by president Rajesh Patel. I believe big dollars will keep pouring in from FIFA. Fiji FA is quickly on the move to promote the local BOG tournament. Personally, I keep blaming the majority of district delegates for continuously voting them in. Finance nor the Sports Minister has any say to interfere in the affairs of Fiji FA. Sorry to fellow LTE column writer Selwa Nandan that I am still waiting for a response from Rajesh Patel in regards to the football debate. Maybe, CEO Mohammed Yusuf can be his replacement to take me on. On a positive note for Fiji FA, the 2026 World Cup will see 48 teams from 32 and a direct entry to the World Cup from the Oceania winner. What more do you want Rajesh Patel? Finally, the 0-9 drubbing saw Fiji FA giving $9000 plus to WOWS Kids Fiji, but believe this may have come from soccer fans who purchased tickets during the Fiji FACT. RAYMOND SINGH Former LFA president, Lautoka

Proud moment

WELL, the biblical analogy of David vs Goliath literally came to life at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint- Étienne. A very proud moment for Fijians around the world, defeating two-time World Cup champions Australia. I think a better analogy for this victory would be The Little Engine That Could. After all, doesn’t Manof-the-Match Tuisova have calves like the locomotive pistons of the sugarcane trains from Ba? Interestingly enough, all the tries in the match were scored by Fijians on both sides. And my obligatory dig at the Fiji FA; kuch sikho (learn something). #TosoViti PRANEET SINGH SACRAMENTO, CA

Slowly but surely

I really enjoyed this win it was quite remarkable and very special. Since 1954 we had never beaten the Wallabies. A big thank you to Simi Kuruvoli for his immaculate kicking at goal, which would have equaled or even surpassed Dan Carter of the All Blacks. Our loose forwards at the breakdown were scavengers, oh man it was a sight to behold. Nacanieli Cawanibuka the gold medalist trainer of the sevens team in Rio and Tokyo is a trainer in this Flying Fijians team. Thank you to the coach and management of the Flying Fijians for the hard work. We are getting there slowly but surely. Waisea Navuruvuru Nasoso, Nadi

Airport Fiji’s day

When asked about Fiji’s rugby history against Australia, player of the match in this RWC23 pool C encounter, Josua Tuisova quipped that it was “back in the days”. Well done Tuisova, and well said. Sixty-nine years is flattering because there have been few and far Tests between the two rugby mad nations in almost seven decades. Fiji needed to win to keep their chances alive in the tournament and it was going to take a mammoth performance like we’ve just witnessed from the Flying Fijians to triumph over big neighbour, Australia. There were some standout individuals, but the win was a team effort and the boys have given a good account of themselves. The 17th of September 2023 at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne was Fiji’s day. Samu Railoa Nadi

Perfect morning

I gather instead of saying good morning (yesterday), people were greeting each other with perfect morning. Amidst the call for a public holiday, we shall not forget the 2019 disaster in Kamaishi. Georgia and Portugal cannot be underestimated. Mohammed Imraz Janif Natabua, Lautoka

Taller than ever

In a heart-pounding clash on the rugby world stage, Fiji emerged triumphant against Australia, etching their names in the annals of history. The world watched in awe as Fiji’s mighty warriors displayed unparalleled determination and grit, securing their first win against Australia in 69 years. This momentous victory was not merely a win; it was a testament to the unwavering spirit of Fiji, a nation that breathes rugby. From the very first whistle to the final triumphant roar, Fiji’s passion for the game shone brighter than ever. Simione Kuruvoli, with his impeccable kicking abilities, was nothing short of a hero on that field. His precision with penalties was not just skill; it was artistry. Kuruvoli’s kicks were the heartbeat of Fiji’s victory, each one resonating with the hopes and dreams of an entire nation. And then there was Josua Tuisova, the man of the match, who dazzled us with his electrifying speed and strength, scoring Fiji’s crucial try that sent the nation into euphoria. Tuisova, you are the embodiment of Fijian rugby’s relentless spirit. Your try will forever be etched in our hearts. But let us not forget the collective effort of the entire team. From the mighty forwards to the lightning-fast backs, every player on that field showcased unparalleled teamwork, resilience and dedication. It was a symphony of skill, a dance of determination and a celebration of Fijian pride. To our beloved warriors, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for this momentous achievement. You have not just won a match; you have ignited a flame of hope and pride that will burn eternally in our hearts. This victory transcends sports; it is a testament to the Fijian identity, one built on passion, courage and unwavering patriotism. In the wake of this incredible triumph, Fiji stands taller than ever, its chest swelled with pride and its spirit invincible. We are a nation that believes in the impossible and today, we have shown the world that Fiji’s rugby legacy is a force to be reckoned with. Congratulations, Flying Fijians! Your triumph on the rugby field has filled our hearts with pride. The future is bright and we stand united as one nation, one team, one family. The world watches as we continue to rise and conquer! SANJEET PRASAD Labasa

ID cards

I think it is time all civil servants working at the government building to have ID cards. Asish Vinay Prasad Park Rd, Raiwasa, Suva

Historic result

With the history making first win over Australia in 69 years Fiji rugby has made Fijians at home and overseas very proud. It is no mean feat given how tough the competition has become in today’s world. It shows the tremendous progress rugby has made in the country. Congratulations to the administration, the coaching team and the players for that. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Ref’s fault

I can predict all the letters in this column by grog dopeys, just like I predicted the win by Fiji. But one thing is for sure, the win by the Flying Fijians was the referee’s fault! Jan Nissar Sydney NSW, Australia

Two gifts

If the try by Tuisova was a gift, then the try by Waqanitawase was a gift too, what say! Vinaka Viti. Joeli Naleca Nakasi

Humility first

You could see it in their eyes and feel it in the bone crunching tackles they were making that they were on a mission. “Play like this is the final!” That was the message from Simon and Waisea and they did just that in 80 magnificent minutes of heart-stopping, adrenaline pumping action that had us all on the edge of our seats. Wow Fiji, you have created history in stunning a spirited Wallabies side and lifting the game to new heights for a Tier 2 nation. What a win and what a game from the fiercely competitive Flying Fijians. Congratulations Viti. But kudos to Australia for helping setup Fijian Drua and in many other means to get Fijian rugby to where it is today. And seeing nearly half the Wallabies side made up of Fijians and islanders says a great deal about where the sport’s at and where support is coming from. Respect. We’ll savour the win for now and be humble in victory. Because this is just the beginning for the long road ahead. Colin Deoki Australia


Here’s a huge shout-out to the branded “grog dopeys”. Against all odds the Flying Fijians ruled “El Supremo” over the much-fancied Wallabies yesterday at the Rugby World Cup 2023. What a sweet victory. We humbly take this historical win after 69 long years (I was only 2 then). Take a bow awesome Flying Fijians. Fiji is a prouder and united nation today. Sports unites. Ronnie Chang Martintar, Nadi

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