NEWS
NEWS
Samoa A lead Warriors on PRC table Underline 15 March, 2011 The New Zealand leg of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup drew to a close on Monday with Samoa A boosting their chances of claiming the title with a tight 18-17 victory over the Chiefs Development team in Pukekohe.

The Samoans, who suffered a heartbreaking 22-21 loss to the Crusader Knights last time out, are the only Pacific Island side to win on New Zealand soil after Fiji Warriors lost 27-13 to the Hurricanes Development side and Tonga A fell 36-18 to the Knights.

Samoa A now sit five points clear of Fiji Warriors on 14 in the race to be crowned champions of the new-look Pacific Rugby Cup, with Tonga A third with six points.

The three Island teams now return to Fiji for the climax of the 2011 competition with a round robin, beginning on Saturday when the Fiji Warriors tackle Tonga A at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

CHIEFS DEVELOPMENT 17-18 SAMOA A

Samoa A survived a late scare to edge the Chiefs Development team 18-17 at Growers Stadium in Pukekohe, becoming the only Pacific Island team to win in the New Zealand leg of the revamped competition.

Nerves must have been jangling when the home side were awarded a penalty at the death, especially after seeing victory slip from their grasp against the Crusader Knights in this fashion five days earlier. However, this time, Trent Renata was unable to do what Tom Marshall had done and bisect the posts to snatch victory.

Samoa A opened the scoring with two penalties from captain Roger Warren inside six minutes, but two tries in four minutes saw the Chiefs Development team turn the match in their favour. Samoan international hooker Simon Lemalu scored the first against his compatriots, before a good break by Ahsee Tuala allowed wing Rey Lee-Lo to touch down.

Full back Titi Esau kept the visitors in touch with a long range penalty as indiscipline began to prove costly for the Chiefs Development side. The hosts should have increased their advantage before half time, but centre Save Tokula dropped the ball in front of the try-line.

Samoa A began the second half just as they had the first, punishing more indiscipline from the Chiefs Development team with penalties from Warren and Esau edging them into a 15-14 lead. Renata regained the lead but once again another indiscretion allowed Warren to kick Samoa A back into the lead.

Both sides created try-scoring opportunities but in the end it was missed kicks which proved costly, Warren missing one he would have regretted had his opposite number Renata not missed two attempts of his own in the final 10 minutes.

“We didn’t start as well as we wanted to, but we held out to the end and are happy with the win,” insisted Warren afterwards.

CRUSADER KNIGHTS 36-18 TONGA A

Johnny McNicholl scored two of the Crusader Knights’ three second half tries as they pulled away from a spirited Tonga A side at Lincoln University to make it three wins from three in the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup 2011.

The two sides had been separated by just three points – 18-15 – after Finau Makoni’s try for the visitors in the 45th minute, but scrum half Willi Heinz touched down within minutes before McNicholl made certain of the win with his brace.

The Knights had begun the game with a couple of Crusaders’ regulars in the starting line-up with Zac Guildford and Ryan Crotty on the comeback after injury, but it was Tonga A who opened the scoring with wing Otulea Katoa’s fifth minute try.

Tonga A’s lead lasted only minutes though when flanker Mark Abbott touched down, and although the visitors went in front again through Edmond Paea’s penalty the sides were again all-square following captain Tom Taylor’s 20th minute kick.

The Crusader Knights scored either side of half time through full back Tom Marshall and flanker Brendon O’Connor to seemingly swing the match in their favour, only for Daniel Morath’s conversion of Makoni’s try to cut the deficit to three points with 35 minutes remaining.

HURRICANES DEVELOPMENT 27-13 FIJI WARRIORS

Fiji Warriors fought back bravely in the early stage of the second half only to see the Hurricanes Development team secure a 27-13 victory at Poirura Park, leaving them five points behind rivals Samoa A in the race for the Pacific Rugby Cup title.

Tries from number 8 Dean Brunsdon and fly half Beauden Barrett saw the Hurricanes Development team establish a 12-0 lead before Fiji Warriors finally got on the scoreboard with Taniela Maravunawasawasa’s penalty just before the half hour mark.

The Hurricanes Development side quickly re-established their advantage when hooker Motu Matu’u touched down to send the hosts in with a 19-3 lead and seemingly on course for another convincing victory in the competition.

However, following a raft of changes at half time, the Warriors fought back into the match with number 8 Dominiko Waqanibuotu scoring his side’s first try and Maravunawasawasa adding the conversion and a penalty to cut the deficit to six points with 26 minutes remaining.

There was to be no fairytale comeback though with second row Api Naikatini touching down before Barrett kicked another penalty to secure victory. However Fiji national coach Samu Domoni was still able to see positives from the New Zealand leg of the competition.

"The rugby is great and the tournament is a good concept,” he admitted. “The team are looking forward to returning to Fiji tomorrow for the final round playing Samoa A and Tonga A, which will be hard games."

Article courtesy of irb.com.
Other March 2011 News Underline
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NZ win 2011 HK 7s 28 March, 2011 
Players fly out to join team 28 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 4 Results 28 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Round Four Tables 28 March, 2011 
Warriors claim PRC title as Tonga beats Samoa 26 March, 2011 
PM presents jerseys to team in HK 25 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 4 Team Lists 25 March, 2011 
PRC team lists - Samoa A v Tonga A 24 March, 2011 
Tonga's Palu suspended for two weeks 23 March, 2011 
A weekend off and Nalaga departs 23 March, 2011 
Warriors defeat Samoa A 22 March, 2011 
PRC team lists - Fiji Warriors v Samoa A 21 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round Three Results 20 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Round 3 Tables 20 March, 2011 
Warriors keep PRC title chances alive 19 March, 2011 
Bolakoro in top form and Nadolo and the beer truck 17 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 3 Team Lists 17 March, 2011 
Experienced squad heads for Hong Kong 16 March, 2011 
Decision on Christchurch's Hosting of Rugby World Cup 2011 Matches 16 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 3 Team Lists - Nadroga v Macuata 16 March, 2011 
Samoa A lead Warriors on PRC table 15 March, 2011 
Nadi pushes Naitasiri close 13 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Round 2 Tables 13 March, 2011 
Media Advisory - Digicel Fiji 7s camp 12 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round Two Results 12 March, 2011 
Waqaniburotu drafted into Warriors line-up 11 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 2 Team Lists - Nadi, Naitasiri and Navosa 11 March, 2011 
Warriors lose to Chiefs 10 March, 2011 
Tagicakibau - shoulder operation puts World Cup in doubt 10 March, 2011 
Fiji's European team 10 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Rd 2 Team Lists 10 March, 2011 
Tailevu 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Naitasiri 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Nadroga 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Nadi 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Ovalau 2011 Squad List 10 March, 2011 
Rewa 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Northland Squad 2011 Lists 10 March, 2011 
Navosa 2011 Squad List 10 March, 2011 
Tavua 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Suva 2011 Squad Lists 10 March, 2011 
Player indiscipline to be addressed 09 March, 2011 
Macuata 2011 Squad List 09 March, 2011 
Lautoka 2011 Squad Lists 09 March, 2011 
IRB Statement Regarding the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union 08 March, 2011 
Players suspended 08 March, 2011 
Remington signs with Fiji Rugby 08 March, 2011 
Tonawai and Natua to join 7s camp 08 March, 2011 
Cakau and Kolinisau prepare for Hong Kong 07 March, 2011 
Camp for Fiji U20s 07 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Rd 1 round-up 07 March, 2011 
Brothers start for Warriors 07 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 1 Tables 07 March, 2011 
Round One Table - U20s 07 March, 2011 
New Zealand sides too good in PRC 05 March, 2011 
Digicel Cup Round One Results 05 March, 2011 
Naitasiri beats Nadroga in Digicel Cup opener 04 March, 2011 
Domoni named in Warriors starting XV 03 March, 2011 
Naitasiri stands down Tonawai 03 March, 2011 
Top teams clash in Digicel Cup opener 02 March, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup launch 02 March, 2011 
Warriors surrender unbeaten record 01 March, 2011 
Rugby family unites to support Christchurch 01 March, 2011 
La Vie Francaise - Fijian Style 01 March, 2011 
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