Tagive grateful to be back in action
Glasgow Warriors winger Ratu Tagive has been relishing playing rugby once again since the COVID-19 lockdown lifted and Guinness PRO14 action returned.
However, with new government guidance in Scotland and the continued fragility of the pandemic, Tagive is taking nothing for granted.
So far since rugby’s return, he has featured in the final two games of the 2019/20 season, scoring a try in the 15-3 season-concluding victory against Edinburgh, and off the bench in last weekend’s 2020/21 season opener against Connacht in Galway.
He told glasgowwarriors.org: “The lockdown was the weirdest period to come through, but it has put things into perspective.
“The government has made exemptions for professional sports to come back, which shows how privileged we [as rugby players] are.
“We know others don’t have those same exemptions, so there is a lot of gratitude to play and be able to see other players and coaches every day.”
The winger, who stands at 6’3”, is also grateful for the chance to be around players day-to-day in the absence of being able to see family. He also believes the strengthening of that support network will translate into the team work seen out on the pitch.
He continued: “We’ve been transitioning to a new normal — not just athletes, everyone is. Normally in the off-season you could get away and see family and feel refreshed, but that’s been taken away.
“It’s about getting used to everything going on, [such as] social distancing in and around training. This has presented new challenges and new ways of working. It’s an interesting dynamic that we’re figuring out as we go.
“We’re lucky that we [the players] get to see each other every day. The culture is important and this [the pandemic] has presented an opportunity for the boys to get around each other, when they can’t see their families. We are now the support base for each other, and we hope that support culture transitions onto the field.
“The support for myself from players and coaches has been vital and I’m sure I speak confidently on behalf of others that the support is vital.”
Glasgow Warriors are set to play back on home turf at Scotstoun Stadium for the first time since February on Sunday (11 October), against Scarlets. With the game set to be behind closed doors Tagive believes it’s going to be down to him and his team mates, specifically the non-playing players, to create an atmosphere around the stadium.
He said: “You see teams like Saracens use their non-playing players to create a buzz and I noticed Connacht did that too. COVID puts emphasis on the whole team bringing the atmosphere and boosting the team morale at home.
“This is another new normal to get used to and build on.”
Creating a home advantage buzz will not be the only priority come Sunday, though. Tagive is hopeful that the team can post their first victory of the season and turn around the result from the opening weekend.
He continued: “I can’t wait for the game and it will be good to be back home playing. But, [later on in the season] we’ll look back at how important the first games are and hopefully we’ll right some of the wrongs from last week. That way we can start building a good foundation ready for when the crowds do come back to Scotstoun.
“We know we’re going to have to tighten up our discipline and that Scarlets were unlucky last weekend too. They had Halfpenny score nine goals from nine, so we know they score from range and that they are similar to Connacht and like to play free flowing rugby.
“We attacked well though, and our tries were multi-phased. We need to remain patient with the ball, keep executing, tighten up our discipline, and we’ll get the end results.”