Rugby Union: Raiwalui: Relax and Turn It into a Real Cup Final to Remember

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrea Morgan

NEWPORT captain Simon Raiwalui has warned that the pressure and expectation surrounding tomorrow's Principality Cup final could make for a disappointing showdown at the Millennium Stadium.

Raiwalui has urged his team-mates not to get overawed by the occasion as the Black and Ambers go head to head with Llanelli in a bid to capture the last cup before Welsh rugby's revolution next season.

Raiwalui said, ``Finals are funny things. They are rarely spectacles. The two teams can be very nervous, knowing that they only get one chance.

``So I think it will be the team that relaxes and enjoys it the most who win the game.'' The Black and Ambers faced a barrage of criticism following their cup semi-final win over Bridgend last month when former Springbok Percy Montgomery kicked nine penalties to secure the final spot. Raiwalui said, ``We know we can play at lot better than we have in the past, but some of the criticism has been a bit too harsh. We know we can play rugby.

``We work together well and we have to execute that at the weekend.

``We had a tough start to the season, but we are going well in the league. A lot of people have knocked us for the style of play but, if you can grind out wins, that's the most important thing. …