Season preview with Tumai Edwards
Last season was a phenomenal year for the Melbourne Rugby Club. Not only did the 1st grade win the Dewar Shield, but we also had all four Senior grades competing on Grand Final day – winning three of the four finals. The results were off the back of a good Club culture that filtered throughout all grades and the commitment of all the players throughout the year was outstanding.
Key Areas of Improvement needed:
We have had a big number of (players) turn over from last season’s squad. We have lost a lot of our experienced players, so this year we will be looking at some of the young and up and coming players to step up and take the lead. Our focus this year with the new squad is to set an early platform and increase the professionalism of our Club culture and work ethic on and off the field.
We are the reigning Premiers so we will definitely have every team wanting to claim that scalp across the season so we need to perform at our best week in and week out.
Players to Watch for 2017
Afa Fa’atau has recently moved to Melbourne. He’s previously played at a high level in New Zealand, representing the Wellington Lions and the Auckland Blues training squad. He is a big outside back who has already in the pre-season games shown a lot of power and agility for a man of his size. We will expect a lot of go forward from him and hopefully his experience at that high level of rugby will encourage the boys to follow his lead.
Mataiasi Nairavu was in fine form for the Unicorns last year until he had to fly back to Fiji for visa issues and missed the Finals series. He was our Club’s leading Try scorer and every time he touched the ball something exciting was about to happen. He has blistering pace and was very handy out wide for us. We are expecting similar form from ‘Matai’ this season and hopefully higher honours will be the outcome for him.
Last Year: Dewar Shield Premiers
Coaching Team: Head Coach – Tumai Edwards, Assistant Coach – Wayne Maki
Captain: Shaun Mortenson
Source: Rebels Media Unit