The Swire Shipping Fiji Warriors rugby team defeated the Vodafone Fijian Under 20 this afternoon 24-10 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
The match started off on a low note, allowing the players to adjust to the atmosphere and understand the importance of the competition of the two match series.
The Warriors had a mixture of players who are new to the HPU program and those who have been in the system for sometimes.
In the opening half, Fiji Warriors winger Tira Welagi, beat three opponents to score the first try and in the 30th minute of the first spell, Warriors lock forward Tikoibai Talatala scored their second try which was converted by fly half Peni Kedralevu.
However, the Fijian Under 20 full back Kevueli Sauvakacolo booted a penalty inside his 10 metre line putting their first point before the break.
The Vodafone Fiji Under 20 had many opportunities but failed to execute their finishing moves and the Warriors took advantage of those mistakes and allowing them to mount pressure and counter attack. The continuous pressure helped them secure two more tries.
The Warriors led 12-3 in the halftime break. In the second half the Warriors scored two more tries from Marika Vularewa in the 50th minute of play and open side winger Jone Dukumoi scored their last try to increase their lead to 24-3.
In the 80th minute of play, the Fiji Under 20 had one last chance inside their 22 metre territory and they played as a team with more than 10 phases to score their only try of the match by flyhalf Sikeli Rabitu.
After the first round of the two day competition, between the Warriors and the Fiji Under 20, Fiji Elite Player Pathway Manager Viliame Gadolo was impressed with some of the performances but at the same time concerned of the injuries and recovery period for the players before their next match on Thursday.
“We are happy with how the game went and the intensity of the game,” said Gadolo.
“Recovery is very important. The players need to adjust to one day turn around and come prepared for another tough outing tomorrow.
Meanwhile the second test between the two sides will be held tomorrow at Bidesi ground