August 07, 2022
Mounties came from behind to hold the Kaiviti Silktails 26-26 and dash their hopes of reaching the finals of the Ron Massey Cup Competition yesterday.
The Fijian side were welcomed to the field by a guard of honour of former Fiji Bati players celebrating ‘Old Boys’ day at Mascot Oval.
The Silktails were hungry for a win and started the match really quick through second rower Paula Walisoliso, made a dashing 40-metre run to cross in the southwest corner after just six minutes but conversion failed before Mosese Qionimacawa booted a drop goal.
Mounties pulled one back through hooker Freddy Pupu before the Silktails scored again, when five-eighth Rusiate Baleitamavua backed up forward Meli Nasau on another barging run through the middle.
The match turned into a real arm wrestle before Baleitamavua grabbed his second, with Nasau being rewarded for all his support work when he grabbed a try of his own right on half-time.
Mounties kept themselves in the hunt when lock Justin Filo scored in the 37th minute.
The Fijian side led 20-10 at halftime, scoring four tries to two in the opening 40 minutes.
The Silktails scored early in the second half, when Walisoliso got his double in the 42nd minute.
Valance Harris and Mitchell Butfield scored before in the corner as the Mounties camped themselves in the Silktails half.
But from then on it was all Mounties as centre and goal-kicker Jack Miller turned hero by scoring a try three minutes from full-time to put his team into the Ron Massey Cup finals.
He was unable to convert his own four-pointer in the 77th minute, but it didn’t matter in the end.
The 26-all draw - with no extra time played in the Ron Massey Cup - meant Mounties moved to 19 competition points and retained fifth spot on the ladder, and the Silktails on 17 in sixth spot.
The Silktails needed the win to draw level on 18 points because they had a superior for-and-against. Only the top five clubs progress to the semifinals.
By Romeka Romena