Super Rugby excitement

Fred Wesley | Friday, May 19, 2017
THE Chiefs and Crusaders have attracted a lot of attention over the past two days.
Fred Wesley
Fred Wesley

This evening they run on to the Laucala bowl for a repeat of the clash that created history in Fiji last year.

For thousands of Fijian fans who will pack the National Stadium in Suva today, this will be a chance to get their front seat experience of Super Rugby action.

It goes without saying that the competition already has a massive television following here.

Again, fans will be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of being part of another blockbuster rugby clash under lights as New Zealand's top two rugby franchises bring their round 13 clash to Suva.

Surely the teams should expect an excited crowd of Fijians who are looking forward to a taste of live Super Rugby action.

Already the hype is reaching dizzying heights for die-hard fans.

Last year we spoke about how a positive outcome could lay the foundation for bigger things in the future.

It seems Fijian fans left an indelible impression when the sides converged on a wet National Stadium last year.

At the time, incoming World Rugby chairman William Beaumont, at a meeting in Nadi two weeks prior to the clash, was already giving off positive vibes on our hopes of hosting a tournament in the Sevens World Series.

Today, sceptics will no doubt see the clash as another opportunity to offer a glimpse of what we can do as a sporting nation.

Hopefully what happens this evening will motivate the powers that be to consolidate any plans to bring more Super Rugby games here and more top quality international engagements.

To that end though sits requirements that will involve all stakeholders, from understanding the realities associated with the staging of an internationally recognised event, and meeting expectations which obviously will be very high.

There will be accommodation requirements, logistics, proximity to training venues and the main stadium. And there are the fans to consider and involve in the process.

The involvement of three Fijians in today's clash adds extra value for local fans who will be there.

Setareki Tamanivalu, Manasa Mataele and Michael Leitch have been named to play. Leitch will be starting at number eight for the Chiefs, Tamanivalu will start on the right wing and Mataele will be coming off the bench for the table toppers Crusaders.

That and the fact that key New Zealand All Black stars will be on show today adds colour and excitement to what is building up to be a thriller.

The match kicks off at 7:35pm. So if you want some top class Super Rugby action, than the National Stadium is the place to be.

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