Nadroga & Naitasiri in Digicel Cup Final
18 August, 2012
The Nadroga team is one step away from retaining their title after they defeated Suva 16 – 8 in the Digicel Cup semi final at Lawaqa Park this afternoon.
Perfect weather and ground conditions was the setting of the day, but Nadroga started off slow in the first half as Suva ran rampant with the urgency to defeat them in front of their home crowd.
Suva opened their account in the 7th minute after their forwards got into action five metres from the try line saw a quick pass from Openside Flanker James Brown to Loosehead Prop Isireli
Temo saw him dive over the try line taking with him two Nadroga defenders. Flyhalf Kaminieli Neiqisa’s attempt at conversion was unsuccessful.
Both teams were equally matched and the physical encounter saw Nadroga’s Blindside Flanker Ulaiasi Lawavou cop a cut on the chin with referee Samu Tuidraki sending him to the blood bin for a couple of stitches but not before Inside Centre Jonetani Ratu slotted in a penalty.
Lawavou’s return to the game saw him sent of once again, but this time red carded for a dangerous tackle on Suva’s Tight head Prop Manasa Saulo.
Suva’s attempt to score more tries was in vain as the 14 men Stallion side held them off with good defense but they were awarded a penalty that was easily slotted in by Neiqisa, Suva led at the breather 8 – 3.
However it took just three minutes of the second half for Nadroga to extinguish any of Suva causing an upset, after Loosehead Prop Ratu Penijamini Makutu shot into the corner after Junior World Cup player and Scrum Half Sakiusa Gavidi threw him a quick ball from the ruck. Ralulu easily slotted in the conversion.
Nadroga Team Manager Paula Biu saying that a stern warning in the changing rooms made the boys realize that they had a goal to achieve.
“’We told them to play the kind of rugby that Nadroga is well known for and to work hard”.
“I told them boys you need to lift your game or this will be your last game if you lose, because Suva was very determined in the first half”.
Suva barely got out of their own half in the second period as Nadroga continually pressured, with Sekonaia Kalou and Adriu Delai causing all sorts of problems for them, which saw them make wrong decisions and many unforced errors.
Two more penalty kicks to Ralulu sealed the deal for the Stallions booking them a spot in the final against Naitasiri in the Digicel cup competition next week much to the delight of the vocal crowd.
Biu saying that they will have to go back to the drawing board and identify their strengths and weaknesses after today’s game.
“Suva and Naitasiri have two different game patterns of play and we know that Naitasiri is the team to beat at this stage of the competition” Biu said.
He said that with them hosting the final next week it will be a different ball game altogether.
We are thankful to our supporters both local and overseas and we would like to thank the lord for the strength that he gave us today, but for now we will have to set our game play for next week and we are looking forward to the final”.
Nadroga will host Naitasiri next week at Lawaqa park for the Digicel cup final after Naitasiri defeated Tailevu 33 – 20 this afternoon at Ratu Cakobau Park.
In the Under 20 finals Nadroga will meet Tailevu after they defeated Suva 22 -3 and Tailevu defeated Nadi 18 – 15.