Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Natabua beats Marist, reaches first ever final

A new winner will be crowned in the Fiji Secondary Schools Deans U18 category after defending champions Marist Brothers High School went down 29-20 in a hard fought battle to Natabua High School in the second semifinal at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Saturday.

The Lautoka based school will face Queen Victoria School in its first ever final next Saturday in Suva.

QVS booked its place in the final after a 14-14 draw with Suva Grammar School.

They progressed as they scored the first try in the first semifinal.

Electrifying Flanker Samuela Navale broke the dead lock for Natabua in the fifth minute when he intercepted  Marist pass and ran to his breath to score under the posts while Viliame Nasau converted for full 7 points.

Several errors by the visitors gifted away a penalty to Marist which fly half Lui Mainavatuiwai took and slotted in between the uprights for 3 points in the 11th minute.

Soon after, Natabua was also awarded a penalty which Nasau took and booted for a 10-3 lead in the 12th minute.

Three minutes later, it was barnstorming inside centre Seremaia Tuiqamea, who crushed through the weak Natabua defence and scored in the left corner but Mainavatuiwai failed with the conversion attempt, narrowing the score line to 10-8.

Natabua regained its momentum through hardworking Sailosi Natuwawa, who sent Navale over the try line to touch down and Nasau converted for a 17-8 lead in the 22nd minute.

Marist fought back and minutes before the break, half back Aisea Nawai beat Lario Nacola in a one-on-one situation to score while Mainavatuiwai converted easily, yet Natabua led 17-15 at the break.

Both teams battled hard in the first 12 minutes of the second half but the Westerners again came out strong and touched down first through impressive lock Natuwawa as he caught a wide pass from Iliesa Erenavula and made his way to the try line.

Nasau converted to increase Natabua’s lead to 24-15 in the 48th minute.

Lock Jerry Ravusoni brought some hope back for Marsit when he broke off a Natabua tackle and bulldozed his way through the opposing defence to dot on the try line but Saula Rasaubale failed to convert in the 61st minute.

Marist kept fighting hard but all their efforts went to waste when Natabua made a brilliant turnover and received an advantage play.

Substitute prop Raymond Navunikaba received a well-timed pass from Paula Navukula and scored the winner towards the end of the match.

Full Results: U14: Marist 26-15 RKS, Suva Grammar 19-10 Lelean; U15: RKS 17-14 Suva Grammar, Marist 24-0 QVS; U16: RKS 18-10 Natabua, QVS 19-7 Marist;  U17: MGM 15-11 QVS, RKS 28-8 Marist; U18: QVS 14-14 Suva Grammar, Natabua 29-20 Marist.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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