Nadroga make it six in a row
Saturday, 2 October 2010
|Nadroga - champions for the sixth time. |
Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka
MRecht Outrigger on the Lagoon Nadroga 11 (8)
Tries: Joeli Lutumailagi Pen: Mitieli Nacagilevu, Jonetani Ralulu
Naitasiri 10 (0)
Try: Waisale Vatuvoka Con: Amani Bosenawai Pen: Amani Bosenawai
Referee: Samuela Tuidraki
Kick Off: 3:00 PM
Conditions: Cool and breezy
Fourteen thousand people descended upon Lawaqa Park to witness a thrilling BSP Farebrother-Sullivan contest that went right down to the wire between the country’s top two teams.
It was the holders who made the early running as a Mitieli Nacagilevu penalty in the fourth minute of play put the hosts in control. Having not played any competitive rugby together for six weeks Naitasiri’s performance looked disjointed as the Digicel Cup champions struggled in the swirling Lawaqa Park breeze.
Nadroga locks Rupeni Nasiga and Nemani Nagusa were masterful in the air as they disrupted Naitasiri’s line-outs time and again, starving the visitors of possession. Naitasiri did have their moments, however two missed penalties from Amani Bosenawai meant the Highlanders could make no impression on the scoreboard in the first half.
With the visitors struggling, it was only a matter of time before Nadroga turned their hard won possession into points and it came courtesy of centre Joeli Lutumailagi in the 25th minute. A loose clearance from Naitasiri gave Nadroga possession and space as their backs shifted the ball wide and with Lutumailagi in space he rounded fullback Nasoni Roko to score in the corner.
Nacagilevu missed the conversion from out wide.
In the 35th minute Jonetani Ralulu had the opportunity to extend Nadroga’s lead further but missed with a penalty attempt as Nadroga took an 8-nil lead into the break.
After the break Naitasiri came out with more purpose with Bosenawai converting a penalty in the 42nd minute.
Naitasiri’s forwards then knuckled down to business as they dominated in the scrums and mauls. A period of sustained pressure on the Nadroga goal line eventually paid dividends in the 11th minute as scrumhalf Waisale Vatuvoka snuck under the defense from two metres out.
Bosenawai made no mistake with the conversion as Naitasiri grabbed the lead.
Naitasiri continued to pressure the Nadroga line dominating both territory and possession but unable to find the score despite two Bosenawai penalty attempts and a drop goal all of which went agonizingly wide of the uprights.
Unable to convert their dominance into points Naitasiri began to fade in the dying moments of the game as indiscipline crept in handing Ralulu a penalty attempt in midfield with which he made no mistake to give Nadroga the lead 11-10.
With three minutes left on the clock Nadroga then controlled possession denying Naitasiri any hopes of a last minute comeback as they held on to successfully defend provincial rugby’s most prestigious prize for the sixth time this season.
Next Saturday Nadi visit for the final challenge of the BSP Farebrother-Sullivan Challenge Series.
1.Tiko Matawalu (c), 2.Jerry Naureure, 3.Setefano Somoca, 4.Rupeni Nasiga, 5.Nemani Nagusa, 6.Aca Ratuva, 7.Semesa Gonevou, 8.Mosese Volavola, 9.Seveci Taka, 10.Jonetani Ralulu, 11.Isoa Neivua, 12.Josaia Lotawa, 13.Joeli Lutumailagi, 14.Sakiusa Navaka, 15.Mitieli Nacagilevi
16.Seru Cakobau, 17.Penijamini Makutu, 18.Iliesa Ratuva, 19.Etonia Naba, 20.Emosi Vucago, 21.Mesulame Soga, 22.Maikeli Mocetadra
1.Sireli Temo, 2.Vereniki Sauturaga, 3.Vesi Rarawa, 4.Senivalati Vunibola (c), 5.Apisai Rinamalo, 6.Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 7.Jimilai Naikadawa, 8.Timoci Vakadranu, 9.Waisale Vatuvoka, 10.Amani Bosenawai, 11.Sanaila Vitau, 12.Iliesa Matanisiga, 13.Josaia Ravulovulo, 14.Paula Tiko, 15.Nasoni Roko
16.Samu Suguturaga, 17.Iosefo Bele, 18.Jokini Sivo, 19.Apenisa Natabua, 20.Nemani Vecenayawa, 21.Temesia Roko, 22.Timoci Sinati
MAN OF THE MATCH:
WAISALE VATUVOKA (Scrumhalf – Naitasiri) – Crisp passing, good communication and an eye for the gap were the hallmarks of Vatuvoka’s man of the match display.