Suva dug deep to come from behind and steal the win in extra time to beat Nadroga 21-18 during their Skipper Cup clash at the ANZ Stadium today.
The capital side scored a try in the 85th minute to finally clinch the win from throughout dominant stallions.
Suva struck first in the 15th minute, with a lineout from within the Nadroga 22 metre line, with hardwork and multiple phases from the forwards through the pick and drive paid off when nippy halfback Sefanaia Seviua crashed over for a try with fullback Enele Malele adding the two points.
Nadroga replied in kind working hard as well managing a sortie into opposition territory.
A gifted penalty from just infront of the posts gave them an easy three points through fullback Jack Volavola 20 minutes in.
Nadroga let loose their explosive backline who finally loosened up.
Slick passing and continued applied pressure paid off with halfback Taitusi Lulusinu scoring in the corner to put them in front with Volavola unable to add the conversion from outwide with 26 minutes up on the clock.
Nadroga edges to further their lead with a lineout on Suva's five metre line, but a hard defensive effort from skipper James Brown who turned over the ball gave the home side abit of relief.
The game would go to the break with Nadroga holding a slender 8-7 lead.
Nadroga came out strong eager to notch a win in the capital city.
After a tight tussle Nadroga winger Peni Kadralevu showed sliky footwork to beat some heavy defenders in the midfield but was denied through the stalwart defence of former Flying Fijian Malele.
Both sides were eager to string their game patterns but were also let down by the slippery ball with a mounting number of unforced errors.
The injection of Suva substitute loose head Mateo Qolisese bought a rejuvenated attack for the homeside as they hunted to get back in front.
Suva lock Peni Tuiteci regained the lead for the homeside after a misthrown Nadroga lineout in their red zone was pinced by the blue defence to send the ball wide for the barnstormer to crash over with Malele adding the two points.
Suva fumbled the restart and hard work from the attacking defenders paid off with a quick tussle that had the visitors pile through for a try through reserve hooker Jonetani Kunavula with Volavola adding the two points to put them back in front on 65 minutes.
Volavola would further Nadroga's lead to a crucial four-point buffer when the too eager Suva defensive was caught 30 metres to the left of the uprights.
Suva forced their way back into the offensive and the inclusion of substitute Setareki Raoba and former Swire Shipping Fijian Drua player Serupepeli Vularika looked to add composure as the home side inched forward with the clock nearing the 80 minutes.
Suva would steal the win with 85 minutes on the clock as the tight five engine room worked overtime with demolishing crash ball to get the rubber pill over the try line through Tuiteci who gets his second try of the day.
Malele converts to end the game 21-18 for Suva.
Suva: Livai Natave, Jason Monua, Josefa Nasaroa, Peni Tuiteci, Manoa Tamaya, Rusiate Tadulala, Osea Bolawaqatabu, James Browne, Sefanaia Seviua, Jone Manu, Misaele Petero, Vatiliai Dulaki, Sakiusa Gavidi, Jone Vasurakuta, Enele Malele, Penaia Cakobau, Mateo Qolisese, Ananaia Rabonu, Israel Immanuel, Tui Cakacaka, Josaia Tagiveitaua, Serupepeli Vularika, Setareki Raoba
Nadroga: Aisake Atani, Nedly Grant, Taniela Vatunicoko, Naipolioni Bakena, Orisi Navauvau, Jiuta Biau, Joji Kunavula, Eremasi Radrodro, Taitusi Lulusinu, Peni Kadralevu, Jone Dukumoi, Waisea Taninaloka, Aisea Sagaitu, Eroni Bakabaka, Jack Volavola, Jonetani Kunavula, Simione Bulai, Ilaitia Sela, Simione Navunicagi, Ratu Naiqama Salakibuli, Lilo Vaseivalu, Peceli Nacebe
By Noa Biudole