Nadroga has won the first Inkk Farebrother Challenge trophy beating Namosi 23-15 at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka on Saturday.
The hosts were bolstered by the services of Fijian Drua inside centre Apisalome Vota while Fiji 7s star Tevita Daugunu featured for Namosi.
It was an arm wrestle of a first half which saw both teams putting on a hard tussle, but it was Nadroga whose confidence began to grow as they became more dominant as the half began.
The home side fired some early warning shots at Namosi which saw flyhalf Jack Volavola land a penalty in the fifth minute before he missed his second one for the afternoon.
Nadroga was reduced to 14 men in the 19th minute when match official Tevita Rokovereni sent Manueli Ratuniyarawa to the sin bin for a foul play and obstruction on a Namosi player, yet the opponents failed to take advantage of the situation.
Namosi attacks lifted through Ifereimi Camaisala as it was his blistering kick and chase but an unmarked Ilikimi Torosi intercepted the ball and ran to his breath to score under the post.
Volavola’s conversion gave Nadroga a 10-0 lead in the 24th minute.
It was a first half resilience of Namosi who spent most of the time defending repeat sets which Nadroga kept breaking and Apimeleki Nabole scored the second try for the Stallions but Volavola failed to convert.
Minutes before the break, another kick and chase by Namosi was perfectly caught by Mesake Tuinamena and he crossed it over to flyhalf Peni Kadralevu for their third try and Volavola failed with the conversion attempt again.
On the stroke of half time, Namosi was reduced to 14 players when Apimeleki Ratucamu was flashed a yellow card for a foul play on Kadralevu.
Nadroga impressively led by 20-0 at the breather.
Namosi came out firing in the second spell and reached out to score their first try when Meli Nakarawa turned a ball around during a Nadroga tackle but he was perfectly tackled down by Vota.
Five minutes later, the men from the highlands regrouped to put Vilikesa Driu near the corner flag to score but the TMO ruled out that he was pushed out of play by Volavola before touching the tryline.
Fiji 7s star, Josua Vakurinabuli took the field in place of Peniasi Ratu to add more depth to Namosi’s backline.
Namosi continued to keep the foot on the throttle as Simione Vatunikalabu scored the first try for the side, crushing through the heavy Nadroga defence in the 64th minute but his conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Some ill-discipline copped up in the match which saw Namosi being reduced to 14 men again as Daugunu was sent to the sin bin for an intentional foul on Ratuniyarawa which also gave Nadroga a penalty.
Volavola added the additional points to give them a 23-5 lead in the 70th minute.
Despite a man down, Namosi gave an immediate response following some brilliant individual play from replacement prop Usaia Raibe as he darted over the try line for their second try in the match and merged the scoreline at 10-23 in the 75th minute.
Four minutes later, Vakurinabili snatched the third try for Namosi after picking up a lose ball which was knocked on by Nadroga forwards but the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Naitasiri is the next challenger for the trophy against Nadroga next week.