The Safata & Lefaga Navigators Coaching Staff and Executive with their new sponsor
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 28 MAY 2018: The Safata & Lefaga Navigators Rugby Franchise has celebrated its sponsorship by the Vailima Breweries with a 33-25 victory over the Southern last Saturday.
The sponsorship breaks new ground for the Safata & Lefaga Region in its quest to become a top contender in Samoan provincial rugby. In doing so, the Navigators Franchise Executive led by President/Chairman: Afioga Leaana Ronnie Posini worked tirelessly in search of sponsors to finance steep operational costs for the 2018 Bluesky Super 9 season.
The franchise struggled last year in the inaugural Super 9s without a sponsor and the results were mixed with promising performances but fell short making the semi-finals.
The consolation however was the selection of four players – Suamalie Tuiletufuga, Aukuso Fruean, Tiamu Viliamu & Tuaniu Tuaniu in the Samoa A team for Uruguay, South America to participate in the 2017 World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge. Suamalie Tuiletufuga was named captain of Samoa A while Aukuso Fruean was named Vice Captain.
So this year, the franchise executive made some hard but strategic decisions to lift the team’s preparations and most importantly its performance on the field, with the firm focus that results will draw in interest from potential donors and sponsors.
After the Club Competition in Safata in March–April, the franchise vigorously engaged itself in a stringent recruitment process to firstly to acquire a Head Coach and secondly marquee players that will fill key positions as evident from last year.
The Navigators Franchise secured the services of Laauli Rudy Leavasa who coached the Gold Medal winning Samoa U18s 7s team at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas.
Then went through a tough but thorough process with long negotiations with the Apia Rugby Union to acquire marquee players such as Koroseta Veni, Leia Saofaiga, Niue Titi, Malcolm Tanielu, Siaosi Asofolau, Hugo Fata, Faavae Tautua, Uili Leavasa, Wesley Patu who will compliment home grown players such as Suamalie Tuiletufuga, Aukuso Fruean, Tuaniu Tuaniu, Tiamu Viliamu and Ieti Isaako.
With this acquisition, the Navigators rose rapidly to 3rd Place in the Standings with three wins and a bye after 4 Rounds of the Bluesky Super 9 Rugby.
The Vailima Breweries’ support and sponsorship could not have come in at a better time with much needed assistance both financially and visual support. The Vailima Breweries and the Navigators Rugby Franchise are also looking at a robust and mutually beneficial partnership going forward.