Friday, April 12, 2024
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Silktails lose Ron Massey Cup opener

The Kaiviti Silktails narrowly lost their opening match of the Ron Massey Cup 17-16 to the Penrith Brothers on Sunday at at Cabramatta’s New Era Stadium.

After scoring two unanswered tries midway through the second half, halfback Immanuel Tagaloamatua sealed the win with a 73rd minute field goal.

The Silktails led 16-6 at halftime but errors started to creep in after the break.

Off back-to-back penalties to Penrith Brothers, the Silktails were forced to defend their goal-line through three sets.

Something had to give and Brothers fullback Elone Taufa found the hole through tired defence.

Eight minutes later and prop Denzal Tonise broke through and scores were tied up 16-16.

Up stepped the Penrith No.7 midway through a set and calmly potted an unexpected field goal.

The Silktails frantically shifted the ball down field as they searched for points in the final minutes but the clock was against them.

Forwards Makrau Fonmanu, Sirilo Lovokuro and Meli Nasua were stand-outs early, always making metres when they got their hands on the ball.

Nasua showed why he was Silktails 2022 Player of the Year with a searching run up the middle before putting hooker Rusiate Baleitamavua away for the opening try in the 12th minute.

Baleitamavua was in the thick of things five minutes later backing up Fonumanu after his line-break before switching play back inside to fullback Osea Natoga to score.

Goal-kicking winger Tsuyoshi Jennings was grateful for the put-downs near the posts to help his conversion attempts.

But the Silktails were kept scoreless in the second term as they struggled to get out of their own territory.

The Silktails will play their round two game against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday.

It will be the Silktails first home game in Fiji in Ron Massey Cup since round one in 2020, before the season shut-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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