Big-hitting J9 Legends pairing of Satala and Lima ease into Dubai Rugby Sevens weekend

Defence rarely called upon during straightforward victories on first day

DUBAI // The Stretcher was not called upon, and thus, the stretcher was not called upon.

Viliame Satala, the 1.88-metre, 95-kilogram Fijian with a forte for flattening folks who try to pass him by, enjoyed a gentle return to the field on Thursday at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.

Turning out for J9 Legends, the 42-year-old centre – nicknamed “Satala the Stretcher” for his ability to leave his opponents laid out – showed he still has gas in the tank as he played in his side’s three wins on the first day.

He was joined at the back by Brian Lima, the fearsome Samoan who makes up for his slightly smaller frame by having a slightly more sinister nickname.

With “The Chiropractor” and “The Stretcher” together, it is little wonder the J9 defence was not breached in their first two matches. Early in the morning, Bishops Stortford were swatted aside 41-0 before Frogs Revival were beaten 36-0 in the midday sun, as Satala and Lima proved peripheral figures at the back.

“We’ve not had many big tackles to make because every team we have played, we have managed to score a lot of points by running forward,” Satala said.

Against the popular Arabian Gulf Legends, Satala and Lima were again minor figures in major frames as the likes of Colin Charvis, the former Wales captain and British Lion, ensured much of the play stayed at the other end of the field.

Having raced to a 35-0 lead, though, Lima was removed and the Gulf capitalised to breach the J9 defence for the first time this weekend through Nick White. The match ended 42-7.

“Our ambition is to compete and not get embarrassed, so we enjoyed it,” William Wood said of the Gulf side. “J9 are all great players, but they are also very organised. We played well and scored a great try – they obviously scored four great tries, but we can be proud of ours.”

Satala said he was playing at 40 per cent and will improve on Friday, before adding: “There has been a lot of one-way traffic – but myself and Brian Lima are just waiting for our time.”

The Stretcher is ready; the stretcher might need to be.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: December 5, 2014 04:00 AM

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