Saturday, 19 March 2011
|Warriors Apisalome Ratuniyarawa loses the line-out tussle. |
Churchill Park, Lautoka
Ari Pacific Fiji Warriors 21 (15)
Penalties: Taniela Rawaqa (6), Jonetani Ralulu
Tonga A 14 (9) Try: Soane Havea Penalties: Daniel Morath
Referee: Tui Komiti (Samoa)
The Air Pacific Fiji Warriors kept alive their chances of retaining the Pacific Rugby Cup with a ill-disciplined but hard fought 21-14 win over Tonga A this afternoon. It was a game dominated by the boots of Warriors fullback Taniela Rawaqa and Tonga A scrumhalf Daniel Morath.
Morath opened the scoring in the first minute of play with a well struck penalty, however the score was soon cancelled out by Rawaqa in the seventh minute.
The Warriors forwards had the best of the early confrontations with prop Waisake Naulago and flanker Jimilai Naikadawa both outstanding. But for all the Warriors forward momentum indiscipline continued to haunt the hosts as two further Morath penalties took the visitors out to a 3-9 lead with the game 28 minutes old.
Rawaqa was guilty of throwing away territory and possession on a number of occasions as he attempted to do too much on his own including a wayward drop goal attempt at a time when the Warriors had the Tongans under immense pressure close to their line.
However Rawaqa’s boot proved his saving grace kicking four successive penalties in the space of thirteen minutes to take the Warriors into the break 15-9 to the good.
In the second half the Warriors came out with real intent but with flanker Tevita Cavubati lurking in the backs he failed to realize the overlap created by winger Jona Tuitoga on his outside as he cut back and lost the momentum.
A minute later, in the 46th minute, Isoa Neivua bulldozed his way through the middle of the Tongan defense only to lose the ball forward with the goal line beckoning.
With his side struggling Tongan coach Isitolo Maka brought on veteran scrumhalf Soane Havea, and his impact on the game was immediate. A neat chip into the Warriors 22 gave Rawaqa little choice but to kick the ball straight into touch. From the ensuing line-out Havea dissected the Warriors defense and scampered through untouched to score the only try of the game. The conversion though was missed by fullback Edmond Paea and the Tongans remained adrift 15-14.
But just as it looked as if the Tongans had wrestled the ascendency from the Warriors indiscipline let them down and the Warriors eventually eased away with two late penalties to Rawaqa and Jonetani Ralulu respectively. Air Pacific Fiji Warriors
1.Waisea Naulago, 2.Viliame Veikoso (C), 3.Ratu Penijamini Makutu, 4.Sokonaia Kalou, 5.Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 6.Tevita Cavubati, 7.Jimilai Naikadawa, 8.Kelevi Ketedromo, 9.Nemia Ranuku, 10.Ratu Taniela Maravunawasawasa, 11.Jona Tuitoga, 12.Ravai Fatiaki, 13.Adriu Delai, 14.Isoa Coalala, 15.Apisalome Waqatabu Reserves:
16.George Ma’afum 17.Ratu Manasa Romumu, 18.Ratu Aca Ratuva, 19.Malakai Volau, 20.Waisale Vatuvoka, 21.Jonetani Ralulu, 22.Epeli Nayaravoro Tonga A
1.Ofa Faingaanuku, 2.Atonio Halangahu, 3.Sila Puafisi, 4.Alfred Pinomi, 5.Samisoni Masima, 6.Tevita Ula, 7.Ofa Finau, 8.Paula Kaho, 9.Daniel Morath, 10.Tomasi Palu, 11.Otulea Katoa, 12.Damien Fakafanua, 13.Charles Mateo, 14.Ratu Maafu, 15.Edmond Paea Reserves:
16.Viliami Pola, 17.Makoni Finau, 18.Feauhelotu Aho, 19.Josephn Kolokihakaufisi, 20.Soane Havea, 21.Viliami Hakalo, 22.Soane Sinisa