Coach Tabuna impressed with Nauru performance

Nauru Rugby Coach Dominic Tabuana is impressed with the performance of his players at the Oceania Rugby Cup that ended last week.

“The boys did well and I know we have learnt a lot of things from the tournament. We still need more exposure and game time and we hope to be given more opportunities in other tournaments,” Tabuna said.

Nauru made its international debut with an 89-5 loss to hosts Papua New Guinea in the Oceania Championships last weekend, then followed up with a 61-7 reversal against the Solomon Islands.

"We take a lot from the game, specifically our defence and our scrummaging. Of course at home we can't contest scrums because of the ground and the learning curve over the last few days has been huge.”

"The boys are stepping up to the plate and we are working out the scrummaging issues and also the defensive work we've put in - not just on the field but off. We're talking about it, strategising over it and how to counter, how to execute in the game."

Tabuna said the team was grateful for the support they received via social media, from people who joined others around the world to watch the game online.

While they were no match for the tournament hosts in Port Moresby, who scored 15 tries to one, Tabuna said he was encouraged by Nauru's performance at lineout time.

"From the stats it was 100 per cent completion. For any rugby team that is tremendous and for a first timer like us that is huge, so we take that out of the game and we use that as one of our strengths," he said.

"The fact is our tight work within rucking was fairly good and we'll look to improve that, we had a really tight competition within the ruck area, so we look to mix it up but use that as a strength within the game and hopefully use that advantage with our lineouts  in games to come."

Nauru Rugby aims to set up more game time for the team and also have more trials for interested players.



Josephine Navula