2022 Courts IDC: Tigers after rare double

Bruce Hughes trains with his Rewa teammates at the Saraswati Primary School grounds in Manoca, Nausori. The team will open its Courts Inter District Championship campaign against defending champion Labasa at 7.30pm on Wednesday at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The Rewa football side will be eying a first double in its already glorious history when the 2022 Courts Inter District Championship kicks off in Suva this Wednesday.

The Delta Tigers created history by winning its first national league title this season and coach Marika Rodu said a win at the IDC would be icing on the cake, a double-feat never achieved by the district before.

“It will be a landmark moment in 2022. Seeing our general progress into the season, maintaining consistency in the national league, finalist in the BOG, winning the league title and of course making it to the OFC Champions League,” Rodu said.

“Being the best in the country by winning the IDC and topping everything off will be just historic. If Rewa wins this IDC it’s going to be a standout moment that we can reflect back as an association for the players and officials alike in years to come.”

The Rewa side faces defending champions Labasa in its first outing, a rematch of the BOG final which the Delta Tigers lost in extra-time.

Rodu is aware of the importance of the first game as the memories of the Fiji FACT are still fresh when Rewa bowed out in the pool stages.

“Very important to avoid a loss. Confidence level, to build momentum, good building block into the tournament. Every game is going to be tough,” the former national rep said.

“The next game will always be difficult. Other results will matter as well. Don’t want to come in that situation like the Fiji FACT.”

He added majority of the 15 players who had been training with the side were expected the make the starting line-up.

Five players – Gabrielle Matanisiga, Tevita Waranivalu, Setareki Hughes, Alzaar Mohammed and Patrick Joseph – were on tour with the national team to Vanuatu and are expected to join camp later today.

“Fifteen players available in training for the last two weeks. Trying to swap players in positions and try them out,” he said.

“Just for precaution sake, I am planning to start the first game without the five not knowing what condition they arrive in. They may get a maximum game time of 30 minutes maybe.”

Iosefo Verevou remains injured while Kavaia Rawaqa will not feature as he recovers from a fracture sustained at the BOG. Rewa has won the IDC title on nine occasions.

They last won it in 2010, defeating Lautoka 3-1 in the final at Suva’s national stadium.

The Delta Tigers face Labasa, who are chasing a IDC title three-peat, in its opening match at 7.30pm this Wednesday at the HFC Bank Stadium in Laucala Bay.

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