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Rugby Union: The Basics

Posted 17 Sep 2019 Rugby, as a sport, is beloved around the world. The two major variants of rugby are rugby league and rugby union though in Fiji, rugby union and rugby sevens are the major versions played (Fiji won the gold medal in rugby sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics). Fiji is one of the few countries where rugby union is the main sport (locally often referred to as 15s or 15s rugby). The national team is referred to as the Flying Fijians. There are approximately 80,000 registered players from a total population of around 950,000. The Rules A rugby match comprises a first half and second half, each lasting for 40 minutes, separated by a 10-minute halftime period. Two 15-player teams compete against each other to secure possession of the ball and to make forward progress towards the other team’s goal-line. A territory-seizing game,the teams seek to expand their own territory by moving towards the opposing team’s goal-line. This can be achieved either by means of individual players carrying or kicking the ball, or by teamwork (in terms of passing, and rucking and mauling). The two team’s players alternately attack and defend, throwing themselves against each other and struggling to win possession of the ball, all the while seeking to score. If one team manages to carry the ball past the opposing team’s goal-line into the in-goal area, then that team is awarded a “try” and scores points. A try is worth five points. When a team has scored a try, that team is allowed to attempt a conversion to get extra points. A conversion kick can be made from any point perpendicular to where the try was scored, along a line parallel to the touchline. The ball can either be placed on the ground for a place-kick, or dropped and kicked after it hits the ground for a drop-kick. Two points are awarded if the ball passes between the goalposts and above the crossbar. A penalty kick is awarded as a result of a foul committed by the other team, a penalty goal is scored if the ball passes between the goalposts and above the crossbar. This is worth three points. When a dropkick (where the ball is dropped and then kicked after it hits the ground) is attempted during play, a drop goal is awarded if the ball passes between the goalposts and above the crossbar. The Positions There are 15 players in each team, consisting of eight forwards (numbered 1–8) and seven backs (numbered 9–15). Additionally, there can be up to eight replacement players “on the bench”. Jersey numbers 16–23 are used to distinguish them. Players are not confined to any single position on the field, even though they mostly focus on only one or two that suit their skills and body types. Players who train in over three positions are called “utility players”. The scrum (an assemblage used to restart play), however should consist of eight players (if a team still has fifteen on the field); three in the front row, two in the second and three at the rear. The positions as given by the International Rugby Board are full-back, wings (left and right), centres (inside and outside), fly-half, scrum-half, number eight, flanker (openside and blindside), lock, hooker and props (loosehead and tighthead). The backs play behind the forwards and are normally more lightly built and faster. Successful backs are skillful at passing and kicking. Full-backs need to be good defenders and kickers, and have the capability to catch a kicked ball. The wingers are generally among the fastest players in a team and score many of the team’s tries. The centres key attacking roles are to try and break through the defensive line and link successfully with wingers. The fly-half can be a good kicker and usually directs the backline. The scrum-half reclaims the ball from the forwards but needs a quick and accurate pass to get the ball to the backs (often firstly to the fly-half). Forwards compete for the ball in scrums and line-outs and are predominantly bigger and stronger than the backs. Props push in the scrums, while the hooker tries to “hook” the ball. Locks are tall and jump for the ball at the line-out after the hooker has thrown it in. The flankers and number eight should be the first forwards to a tackle and play a crucial role in obtaining possession of the ball for their team. And there you have it. For those unfamiliar with the sport, it can seem a bit daunting but with a basic understanding of the game you are sure to have many, many enjoyable hours of rugby ahead of you!
By Fiji Airways Continue Reading
Tagged: Activities, Resorts, Relaxation, Romance, Surf and Dive, Honeymoon, Rejuvenation

15 things to pack while travelling

Posted 17 Sep 2019 15 things to pack while travelling - according to the Flying Fijians (in no particular order) Smartphone - Whether it is to keep in touch, browse the internet, or keep in touch with family and friends, the smartphone is a must for the Flying Fijian on the go. Books - The long wait times between flights and other general downtime on the road can be a welcome time for the aspiring bookworms in the group who use this opportunity to get lost in the world of letters. Bible - It comes as no surprise that a team that wears their faith on their sleeve would consider a Bible to be an essential item to have on hand when travelling. Toiletries - While travel expands the mind and horizons of a person, it can also mean not having things that you may consider pretty basic. Things like your specific brand of deodorant may not be available so the players consider this an essential. After all, you want to be smelling your best, regardless of the climate. Comfort Foods and Snacks - Home is where the heart is. And the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Mixed metaphors aside, when in a country where the cuisine maybe a little too adventurous for the palate, a bit of comfort food goes a long way in making you comfortable. For a fair few of the Flying Fijians, these are things like breakfast crackers, Rewa (a local brand) butter, corned beef and even instant noodles! Don’t knock till you try it - they go together. Video Games - Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch; these are some of the consoles the players mentioned as being instrumental in helping them wind down. Mario Kart got a respectful shout out. Wallet - It’s where your money lives. At least, the cash version.| Casual Clothes - When not on the field, you need some casual clothes to visit the country you're in at your leisure.  Headphones and earplugs -  Whether it is to hear your media more clearly or block out the sound of people snoring on a plane, a good set of headphones does the job - or earplugs if it is just about blocking the noise. Family Photos - When the comfort food isn't enough, you want to have a sentimental link to back home. Huge, muscular and built like a locomotive doesn’t mean you dont miss the family. Sunglasses - You can block the harmful UV rays of the sun, or the nosy gaze of strangers. Important, either way. Tablet and laptop - To watch movies, read the news, play games. But mostly movies. Kava - You can take the Fijian out of Fiji but you can’t keep him from drinking kava. As essential to the Fijian identity as rugby, Kava is the perfect way to wind down with the boys. Rugby Kit - Uniform, boots, gumshield etc - A bit self-explanatory, but if you’re travelling as a Flying Fijian, you need your rugby kit. Strictly on field. Travel Documents -  A bit of a no brainer, you HAVE to have your travel documents. I mean, you COULD try entering another country without your passport but we wouldn’t recommend it. And that's all the things you need to pack while travelling - if you’re a Flying Fijian. Happy travels!
By Fiji Airways Continue Reading
Tagged: Activities, Resorts, Relaxation, Romance, Surf and Dive, Honeymoon, Rejuvenation


Posted 27 Nov 2018 A shining jewel in Fiji’s crown, Six Senses Fiji promises an out of the ordinary experience to remember. Found amongst lush vegetation on a protected bay, Six Senses Fiji boasts a gorgeous white sandy beach and turquoise lagoon offering swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and more. Designed to reflect a Fijian village, 24 pool villas offer a contemporary take on tradition, providing a peaceful haven for guests to enjoy their own paradise. For families and larger groups, multi-bedroom residences create a feeling of a private island home with fully equipped kitchens, barbecues, private pools and a complimentary nanny service. The Wellness Village is surrounded by lush tropical jungle and is home to Six Senses Spa Fiji where guests can reconnect with themselves by putting their feet up and their worries down. Take a class at the Alchemy Bar blending your own body scrub or try our aerial yoga or guided meditation to reconnect with yourself. A treetop yoga pavilion offers unsurpassed ocean views from every angle (downward dog, warrior and tree pose). Food and beverage at the resort promises to create memories, not just meals, leaving taste buds tingling and guests hungry for more. Encompassing Eat With Six Senses principles, Six Senses Fiji uses fresh and local ingredients, many grown onsite, to create tonics, probiotics and more, with chef and mixologist working together to banish the barrier between food and drink. Integrating sustainability into every element of our resort, Six Senses Fiji is proud to be 100 percent solar powered with the largest micro grid in Fiji to use Tesla batteries. A water bottling plant onsite is used to purified water to the highest standards and bottled in glass bottles, eliminating the need for any single use plastic bottles on site. Those elements, along with many other initiatives within our resort including a farm, composting and our coral planting project, ensure that we are consistent with the commitment of the brand to reduce our environmental footprint. Water sports including surfing, snorkeling, coral reforestation, windsurfing, hobie cats, jet skis, diving and more along with cultural and environmental activities, cooking classes and mixology lessons mean there is something for everyone at Six Senses Fiji. For more information please visit www.sixsenses.com/resorts/fiji/destination, and to make a reservation please call +679 675 0284.
By Fiji Airways Continue Reading
Tagged: Activities, Resorts, Relaxation, Romance, Surf and Dive, Honeymoon, Rejuvenation

The Best Spots for Snorkelling & Diving In Fiji

Posted 13 May 2016 Fiji is often referred to as the soft coral capital of the world, with over 300 islands surrounded by waters of rich and diverse ecosystems. As a result, Fiji is renowned as one of the best tropical paradises for snorkelling and diving. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy exploring the underwater world, with many novice-friendly locations available, as well as guides to help you feel comfortable. Turtle Watching with Dive Wananavu, Fiji For the shortlist, here are the best spots for snorkelling or diving in Fiji – some are exclusive to resort guests whilst others are available for daytrippers too. Dive Wananavu, Wananavu Beach Resort Mellow Yellow Sight, Dive Wananavu, Fiji The Bligh Waters make up the stretch of ocean between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and is home to some of the best diving in Fiji. Dive Wananavu is a 5-star qualified PADI dive facility offering trips for certified divers, as well as courses for certification. Daily trips travel to various sites of rich ecosystems including the well-known sight Mellow Yellow, aptly named for the abundance of blooming yellow soft corals. Divers can expect to see an underwater wonderland thriving with rainbow coral, unique fish, sharks, and turtles nestled in tunnels, canyons, and caves. Note: The Bligh Waters can be vulnerable to currents and is weather permitting. Purple Haze, Dive Wananavu, Fiji HOW TO GET THERE Transfers from Nadi International Airport to Wananavu take approximately two-and-a-quarter hours and are included with all-week long scuba diving packages. South Sea Island, Mamanuca Islands Snorkeling @ South Sea Island, Fiji South Sea Island may be small in size but there is definitely plenty to see and do. Discover the majestic underwater world with hours of snorkelling and diving, and experience drop offs and wall dives with lots of hard corals and large schools of pelagic fish. Certified divers will love the purposefully sunk shipwreck, whereas first timer divers will marvel at the pretty reef formations. The island is also family friendly with a semi-submersible coral viewer for those who are not strong swimmers. Alternatively, spend the day swimming laps around the island and keep your eyes peeled for Nemo. HOW TO GET THERE South Sea Cruises travel to the island daily, leaving from Port Denarau on the main island. Navini Island Resort, Mamanuca Islands Hawksbill Turtle @ Navini Island, Fiji Voted as one of the best snorkelling spots in the Mamanuca Island group, Navini Island Resort is surrounded by a beautiful sanctuary that’s teaming with sea-life. With just 10 bures and no daytrippers allowed, Navini offers unrivalled seclusion for guests who want to explore the unspoiled reef and brilliantly blue waters in peace. This is a safe breeding ground for marine creatures, with regular sightings of Juvenile Hawksbill turtles, lobsters, clams, stingrays and even reef sharks. The water is usually clear with an average visibility of 20m. Juvenile Hawksbill Turtle, Fiji Islands HOW TO GET THERE Guests travel from Nadi International Airport via a private vehicle to the Vuda Marina where a speedboat transfer departs. Mantaray Island Resort, Yasawa Islands Swimming with Manta Ray @ Mantaray Island Resort, Fiji The waters in front of Mantaray Island Resort are widely regarded as some of the best for snorkelling and diving in Fiji, with the marine reserve home to flourishing coral and numerous species of fish. Between the months of May and October, guests can experience an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with magnificent Manta Rays in its natural environment. Guests also have the option to dive or gain an SSI open water dive certificate, whereby courses can be completed in 3-4 days. Within minutes of the resort lie 40 amazing dive sites, including night dives, cave dives and shark dives – ideal for skilled and adventure divers. Manta Ray @ Manta Ray Island, Fiji HOW TO GET THERE Guests can get to Mantaray Island Resort via high-speed ferry from Port Denarau or via seaplane and helicopter transfers.
By Jennifer Liu Continue Reading
Tagged: Activities, Surf and Dive

10 Things to Love About the South Pacific

Posted 10 May 2016 Discovering paradise has never been so easy. I must say, there is nowhere in the world that compares to the South Pacific. What makes it stand out from all other places? What would make you get on a plane and fly hours to islands in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean for a holiday? Let me tell you. 1. Yasawa Islands, Fiji 7. The Blue Lagoon, Port Vila, Vanuatu 2. Swimming with Wales in Vava’u, Tonga 8. Swim with Manta Rays, Manta Ray Island Resort, Fiji 3. Scuba Diving the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef, Kadavu, Fiji 9. The Blow Holes & the American Wharf, Nuku’alofa, Tonga 4. The Cascades, Port Vila, Vanuatu 10. Adventures in Pacific Harbour, Fiji 5. Sawa-i-Lau Caves, Yasawa Islands, Fiji 11. The People 6. The To Sua Trench, Samoa     'Ene'io Eueiki Island, Vava'u, Tonga Yasawa Islands, Fiji Nothing screams paradise more than the Yasawa Islands in Fiji. The Yasawa Islands are a haven for beach loving junkies with accommodation options ranging from backpacker homestays and bures (traditional Fijian Villas) in the middle of a Fijian village to private 5 star Vilas nestled away on secluded beaches a stone’s throw away from the clearest ocean water found anywhere in the world. Yasawa Islands, Fiji I have chosen to put the entire Yasawa Islands out there as my favorite over any particular island in the Yasawas which can easily fit into a list of places in paradise to visit on their own. Swimming with Wales in Vava’u, Tonga Humpback Whale, Vava’u, Tonga Vava’u is often described as the ‘jewel in Tonga’s Crown’ and is every bit what they say it is. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, scuba diving and whale watching/swimming. For transparency sake, I have to admit I have not done this swim yet but I’m told by a friend that it was one of the best experiences in his life – second only to his wedding day. That says a lot! Being able to swim with humpback whales should be on your bucket list. The season is from July to October and Tongan Expeditions and Vavau Villa offer these once in a lifetime experiences (or more if you’re up for the challenge). Scuba Diving the Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef, Kadavu, Fiji Waisalima, Kadavu, Fiji Not a diver? No worries – snorkeling is also another great way to see the Great Astrolabe reef. It is one of the largest barrier reefs in the world and a world class diving spot. It is a haven for thousands of marine life. Whether you’re a beginner diver or a pro diver, there’s an adventure awaiting everyone in this underwater paradise. Matava Resort in Kadavu offer diving and snorkeling trips out the reef. The Cascades, Port Vila, Vanuatu When I think of Vanuatu, thoughts of unspoilt beauty with a hint of adventure and experiences come to mind. A short two and a half hour flight out of Fiji lays what I would rate as one of the best places to visit in the world. If you’re looking for waterfalls, Vanuatu has them all. The best part, it’s only a short drive from the airport. This means you can be in a plane and 15 minutes later – swimming under a waterfall. Now that sounds like paradise. Mele Cascades, Port Vila, Vanuatu The Cascades in Vanuatu is a series of waterfalls that flow into pools and is a place you can spend hours in. The falls make a great background for any Facebook or Instagram photo to make your friends jealous. Evergreen Vanuatu has daily half day or full day tours to the Cascades. Make sure it’s on your bucket list of places to visit when you’re next in Vanuatu – you won’t be disappointed. Sawa-i-Lau Caves, Yasawa Islands, Fiji Sawa-i-Lau Caves, Yasawa Islands, Fiji Also known as the ‘very heart of the Yasawas’ is a magical place that is a must of anyone visiting the Yasawas. Swim the caves as guides take you through the history behind this beautiful part of the islands. The water is also AMAZING and the light that comes through the ceilings of the cave make it a truly magical experience. Some resorts offer tours up to the caves so be sure to get in on the action when you’re there. The To Sua Trench, Samoa Samoa is referred to as the treasured islands of the Pacific and is a proud nation built on culture and Christianity which is a strong part of its history that can be seen throughout the island in the magnificently built churches and cathedrals. A drive around Upolu Island that houses Apia, the capital of Samoa, brings you to a number of well-known spots such as Papase’ea Sliding Rocks, Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, Lalomanu Beach and the famed To Sua Ocean Trench. To Sua Ocean Trench, Upolu, Samoa Samoa Tourism Association describe it as two giant holes joined by a lava tube cave. The water is so clear and it’s an experience like no other to swim in the ocean trench. The climb down the ladder to the platform at the bottom is a bit of a challenge but that all adds to the adventure and fun. The Blue Lagoon, Port Vila, Vanuatu A short drive from the city center is the Blue Lagoon. Images don’t do justice to the beauty and uniqueness of this place. From afar it looks like the bluest water you’ll ever see that is so turquoise like that it feels like it’s been photoshopped on. As you move closer and look down, you can see the bottom of the lagoon so clearly. A dive in fast proved that it’s not as shallow as it looked from the top. Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu The best part about the Blue Lagoon and most other of these beautiful places in Vanuatu – it’s not overrun with tourists. There is a perfect balance here and it allows you to truly enjoy the experience and appreciate nature in a way you may never have before. Swim with Manta Rays, Manta Ray Island Resort, Fiji Seasonally from May to October, there is a chance of a lifetime to swim or snorkel with Manta Rays in the Yasawa Islands. Definitely an experience not to be missed. Be sure to have your cameras ready because that first sighting can get so exciting that you forget to capture the moment. I should know, I’m the idiot who forgot to take it. Manta Ray, Yasawa Islands, Fiji Manta Ray Island Resort is tucked away in the beautiful Yasawa Islands and is the perfect spot to escape your busy life. Not keen on swimming with the manta rays? No problem, you can unwind on the beach with a tropical cocktail. Now that’s one way to run away from your emails. The Blow Holes & the American Wharf, Nuku’alofa, Tonga Childhood memories of me jumping with the boys off what felt like the longest jetty in the world into open seas are what make me think of the American Wharf. It was one of my favorite places to go on an afternoon in Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga. I have gone with two things here because it’s too hard to pick one favorite thing to do in Tonga. Mapu a Vaea, Nuku’alofa, Tonga The blow holes are one of those places where you can sit for hours and feel at ease. As waves roll in, water is forced up the volcanic rocks and create a plume-like effect. It is like nature’s own fireworks – or should I say waterworks? Maybe we’ll stick to the traditional name for the blow holes, Mapu a Vaea or ‘Whistle of the Noble’. Adventures in Pacific Harbour, Fiji They don’t call it Fiji’s Adventure Capital for no reason. Everything from White water rafting to Jet Ski safaris, shark diving and buggy rides to waterfalls can be done in Pac Harbour as the locals call it. River Fiji’s white water rafting takes you through canyons and past waterfalls on Navua River and is a favorite for many adventure seekers that visit Fiji. Jet Ski safari’s is also a great way to explore the islands around Pacific Harbour with guided tours that include snorkeling trips. Dune Buggy Ride, Pacific Harbour, Fiji You can also take self-driven dune buggies up the hills in Pacific Harbour with Terra Trek that ends with a hike to a one of the best waterfalls you can find on Viti Levu, Fiji’s biggest Island. Pacific Harbour is also a great place to unwind in the evenings with activities in the different hotels and a number of restaurants and bars in the area. The People Smiling Fijian girl I know I said 10 things to love about the Pacific but without a doubt, there is nowhere else in the world where you can visit four or five different countries and feel like home in all of them. From Fiji to Tonga, Vanuatu and Samoa, the people are what I would describe as the drawing factor for the Pacific. So what are you waiting for?
By Akuila Batiweti Continue Reading
Tagged: Activities, Adventure, Surf and Dive
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