Ratu embracing Force foray
Determination and commitment are core ingredients for anyone aspiring to reach the top of their chosen field and for Western Force recruit Kiti Ratu they are attributes that fortunately come naturally, along with a fair dose of natural talent and a passion to learn.
Ratu has slotted into the Force set-up seamlessly after crossing from Melbourne, via a stint with Eastwood in the NSW Shute Shield, following the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season.
His NRC debut for the West Australian’s came in a thrilling one-point win against Queensland Country in round one, and while he missed the trip to his native Fiji last weekend, he is primed for a return against former club Melbourne Rising at UWA Sports Park this Sunday.
“It will be good to see some of the Melbourne boys again but there is definitely only one result I want when the final hooter sounds on Sunday and that’s a third win in a row for the Force,” Ratu said.
“I know it’s not going to be easy getting back into the match-day squad after the boys got a brilliant result against Fiji last weekend but I’ll be doing everything I can at training this week to put myself in the frame for selection.
“When you cross the white line it’s all about doing whatever you can for your team, there will be plenty of time afterwards to catch-up,” Ratu added.
A late starter to the game, Ratu has learned a lot since switching from soccer to rugby in 2014. Since that time the softly spoken Fijian has let his actions on the field do the talking, building a solid foundation with two NRC campaigns in Melbourne and one Super Rugby season for the Rebels, in addition to national team duties with the Fiji Warriors.
A measure of his ability to learn was evident after earning a place in the Force match-day squad who tackled Tonga in a World Cup warm-up match after only a week of training with the club. Now, almost a month into his Force journey, Ratu has settled in with the help of some familiar faces who have made the transition a happy one.
“I played with Jack McGregor and Jonah Placid in Melbourne, it has been good to see those boys again. The rest of the team has also been very welcoming,” said Ratu.
“I’m enjoying my time at the Force. Being in a new professional set-up is great and I think it is an environment that really allows you to get the best out of yourself and play some good rugby.
“I’m looking forward to the game on the weekend and hope we can get a lot of people down to the ground and fill the hill. I really felt the support of the crowd in round one, they were definitely part of the reason we were able to get up and win that game,” Ratu said.
Western Force vs Melbourne Rising
UWA Sports Park – McGillivray Oval
Curtain Raiser – North vs South, Perth Gold Trials.
Family activities from 2pm AWST,
Kick-off at 3pm AWST