Digicel Cup - Rewa stun Nadroga 27-29
02 April, 2011
Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka Nadroga 27 (12)
|Rewa try scorer Esala Vakatekau. |
Apisai Moimoi, Atonia Bula, Aisea Natoga, Maikeli Toga | Con:
Simione Cokanasiga (2) | Pen:
Simione Cokanasiga Rewa 29 (20) Tries:
Esala Vakatekau, Manu Laqai | Con:
Vetaia Rokosuka (2) | Pen:
Vetaia Rokosuka (5)
When Nadroga’s Apisai Moimoi went in under the posts in only the 4th minute of play one could’ve been forgiven for thinking Rewa could possibly be in for a particularly tough afternoon. Well in the end it proved a bitterly tough afternoon, but for all the right reasons, as Rewa showed grit and determination to come from behind three times to defeat Nadroga 27-29.
Rewa’s response to Moimoi’s early score came in the 15th minute when flanker Esala Vakatekau caught the Nadroga defense napping from a quick tap close to the Nadroga line to barge through and score. Promising fullback Vetaia Rokosuka made no mistake with the conversion to even things up and then nailed a 35 metre penalty seven minutes later to put the delta side in front.
The visitors suddenly sensed they had the measure of their more illustrious hosts and certainly deserved better reward for their industrious play than Rokosuka’s failed 40 metre drop goal attempt in the 28th minute. Though, to be fair, there was a certain amount of bad luck in the attempt as the ball rebounded off the near upright and bounced back into the field of play.
There was better luck though for Rokosuka and Rewa two mintues later as Nadroga were caught offside at the breakdown enabling the fullback to double his side’s lead.
However, as you’d expect them too, Nadroga came galloping back and an incisive break from flyhalf Simione Cokanasiga eventually led to a try to Atonia Bula. Cokanaisga’s simple conversion miss from beside the upright would though prove crucial to the final result as Rewa held on to the slenderest of leads 13-12.
With halftime beckoning Nadroga threw caution to the wind as they attempted, on a number of occasions, to run the ball out of trouble from within their own 22. It was a tactic that backfired when in the second minute of injury time Manu Laqai stole the ball and sauntered over to score. Rokosuka’s conversion gave Rewa an eight point lead.
In the 45th minute a Cokanasiga penalty cut Rewa’s lead to five. Then nine minutes later Aisea Natoga collected a loose ball to scoot away and level proceedings, while Cokanasiga’s conversion gave Nadroga the lead for the second time in the match, 22-20.
However Rokosuka with his third penalty enabled Rewa to wrestle the lead back from the Stallions before a 70th minute Maikeli Toga try once again put the hosts in the ascendancy. However it was a lead cut to a single point when Rokosuka’s fourth penalty sailed straight and true over the Nadroga cross bar in the 72nd minute.
With fulltime up on the clock Nadroga held a tenuous 27-26 lead, however Rewa had Rokosuka attempting a 45 metre penalty. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop as Rokosuka strode up to strike the ball straight and true for the fifth time.
Rewa held the lead once again 27-29 and while there was still time two more minutes of injury time left Rewa did enough to hold on and claim their second successive win at Lawaqa Park – having also won 8-nil in 2009.