Fiji Airways Flying Fijian, Drua and Nadroga fly half Alivereti Veitokani has been instrumental in the Fijian team’s performance in the Australian National Rugby Championship season to date but the stealthy playmaker says it’s the backline depth that is the key his team’s success so far.
Despite notching up 4 tries, 22 points, 84 carriers, 709 metres and even 13 tackles himself, the quietly spoken 26 year old gives all the credit to his team and the game plan that is producing these results.
“I’m really enjoying this season so far, we are all working really hard every day and it’s just so great to play alongside boys who are always there in support, on the chase and finding space” he said.
Veitokani has spent time in both full back (15) and (10) this season and says despite a love for both positions, he is enjoying finding his feet in the important fly half playmaker role.
“Being in that position to organise the team, look for opportunities for our attack, to find space for the boys to run into and to make good decisions that is such a great challenge.”
“I am enjoing gaining more experience in the NRC competition and keep looking to build on my skills in communicating and organising the boys, so that I can do a better job for the team.”
In the Drua’s only loss this season against QLD Country in round 3 the Australian heavyweights restricted the Drua for space and suffocated their leading playmaker of any chance to ignite the Fijian attack.
This week against the Western Force, the number 10 is expecting the same treatment and is prepared for the encounter.
“We just need to stick to our game style, the Fijian game style and not let them dictate to us.” he said. “When we put the kicks in behind and have support players running through, it’s fun and that’s when we play well. When there is space.”
“They (the Force) play a bit of a territory game and we know we like to run the ball, so I need to keep my eyes open for their weaknesses, make sure I improve on the decision making from last week and stick to what our coaches direct us to do.”
“I want to make sure I make good decisions, to talk more to organise the boys and keep the shape in attack.”
As the Lomainasau, Yailevu, Nadroga native’s game continues to mature so to does his chances of earning a place in John McKee’s November touring squad with the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians, something Veitokani says is a major incentive to his entire team’s performances.
“We are all really motivated to represent Fiji and it is such a great opportunity to play in the NRC for the Drua and to compete for a place on the touring team.” he said.
“But more importantly we just need to focus on our own performance, to keep improving, doing what the coach says, working really hard and getting better each week.”