During the regular season, New Zealand Rugby and the Chiefs Super Rugby franchise made a public declaration of support for Pacifica Rugby. Not a piecemeal offer either, but a real validation to say publically “Pacifica Rugby Has a Place in Super Rugby”.
They both; along with Sky Sport (NZ media broadcaster) promoted a round of Super Rugby played in Suva, Fiji. A very successful rugby match too where the Chiefs held a ‘home game’ away from their traditional ground in Hamilton. Such a massive undertaking that was in ‘every way’ a statement that Pacifica Rugby has a future in Super Rugby.
By doing so, they made several statements on the state of the game. The teams all endorsed the venue and facilities: ANZ Stadium in Suva. The parties proactively invested in their grounds-people from Waikato Stadium to assist in preparations. The logistics were co-managed fantastically and as a result, the people of Fiji rejoiced in the match. Thankfully for the ‘home side’ as the Chiefs beat the Crusaders 23-13.
Despite the conditions, a positive result for Pacifica Rugby
While the occasion was a success both on and off the park, it was the co-operation from all parties that underlines the success. The Chiefs, a team with a long history of talented Fijian and Pacific Island players, benefited from that relationship. Crucially, the Fijian government were helpful in the arrangements, while NZ Rugby too were supportive. It seemed like the ‘stars had aligned’ to ensure this match would go off without a hitch.
That meant it was a true collaborative effort. And those who enjoyed the occasion–fans, players/coaches and stakeholders–must do their best to use this example as an pre-cursor to developing the game further……read more here