Stallions stampede over Northland 33-3
28 May, 2011
Digicel Cup - Round 11 Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka
|Nadroga captain Tiko Matawalu goes in to support with the Northland goal line beckoning. |
Nadroga 33 (5) Tries: Tevita Cavubati, Sekonaia Kalou, Seremaia Tuilevu, Jonetani Ratu, Semesa Gonevou
Conversions: Jonetani Ralulu (4)
Northland 3 (3)
Pen: Josevata Bola Referee: James Bolabiu
Weather: Mild and Sunny
Nadroga issued an emphatic statement to defending Digicel Cup champions Naitasiri, and all semi-finalists (which includes Northland), with a 33-3 thumping of Northland at Lawaqa Park. The Stallions out-scored their visitors by five tries to nil with a display of scintillating running rugby - one of their tries coming with only 13 men on the field.
In a tense first half Nadroga struggled to turn their dominance, in both territory and possession, into points with poor handling and desperate Northland defense holding the Stallions to a solitary 15th minute try to outstanding lock forward Tevita Cavubati, younger brother of legendary Fiji and Hurricanes prop forward – Bill Cavubati.
Cavubati’s score was a typical Nadroga try with the Stallions, with a penalty, spurning the shot at goal to take the quick tap. Impressive scrum half Samu Laqai spotted the gap with Cavubati on hand to crash over 15 metres from the uprights. Fly half Jonetani Ralulu missed the conversion.
Northland’s only points of the half, and indeed of the game, was an 8th minute Josevata Bola penalty.
With Northland defending for three-quarters of the first half the isireli Ledua captained side must have felt relatively pleased to have turned around at the break only two points down at 5-3.
It was a feeling which soon turned to despair as four second-half tries blew Northland’s challenge all the way back to Korovou.
Sekonaia Kalou began the second half rout with a wonderfully worked set-piece try in the 44th minute. From the line-out, on the Northland twenty-two, Setefano Somoca took the crash ball before popping it to Cavubati who bulldozed his way through the Northland defense and unloaded to Sekonaia Kalou who crashed over to score. Ralulu made no mistake with the conversion as Nadroga pulled away 12-3.
Nine minutes later Nadroga turned on the razzle -dazzle breaking out of their own half with lock Cavubati proving he had the speed to match his bulk as he powered down the near sideline with just about the whole Nadroga backline to support. In the end, after throwing the ball around like a hot potato and befuddling the defense, it was Seremaia Tuilevu who finished off under the posts.
Once again Ralulu converted as Nadroga now led 19-3.
On 59 minutes any faint hopes of a Northland fight back were snuffed out when inside centre Jonetani Ratu sliced through a tired Northland defense from an attacking penalty to score Nadroga’s bonus point try beside the post. Ralulu converted and Nadroga were in total control, 26-3, with 20 minutes still remaining in the match.
However, within five minutes Nadroga found themselves with only 13 men on the field of play when reserve players Epeli Natuikata and Emosi Vucago were both yellow carded.
However unbelievably it was Nadroga who still managed to seize the initiative when, despite being two men down, and with a penalty against them on their own goal line, they turned the ball over, broke away and scored in the near corner through Semesa Gonevou. Northland players and fans were shell-shocked.
Ralulu nailed the conversion from the sideline.
The final score 33-3 and on this sort of form Nadroga must be firm favourites for the Digicel Cup. Nadroga
1. Tiko Matawalu, 2. Seremaia Naureure, 3. Setefano Samoca, 4. Sekonaia Kalou, 5. Tevita Cavubati, 6. Mosese Volavola, 7. Aca Ratuva, 8. Nemani Nagusa, 9. Samu Laqai, 10. Jonetani Ralulu, 11. Sakiusa Navaka, 12. Jonetani Ratu, 13. Aporosa Tabulawaki (1), 14. Seremaia Tuilevu, 15. Apisalome Waqatabu. Reserves 16. Rt Seru Cakobau, 17. Rt Penijamini Makutu, 18. Epeli Natuikata, 19. Semesa Gonevou, 20. Emosi Vucago, 21. Adriu Delai, 22. Aisea Natoga.
1. Sireli Ledua, 2. Vereniki Sauturaga, 3. Filimoni Verebalavu, 4. Semi Saulaki, 5. Joveci Kalou, 6. Mika Tuitoga, 7. Niumaia Bari, 8. Adriu Durutalo, 9. Henry Seniloli, 10. Eroni Vasiteri, 11. Samisoni Votua, 12. Maikeli Vasole, 13. Petero Nodrakoro, 14. Paulo Rokotuiveikau, 15. Josevata Bola. Reserves 16. Banuve Dretiverata, 17. Peni Tamani, 18. Vilive Koro, 19. Watisoni Gavidi, 20. Netani Koroi, 21. Norani Vunakece, 22. Panapasa Rokociri.