June 11, 2022
A successful final penalty by Tevita Mociu helped Jacks Nadi retain the Inkk Farebrother trophy beating Ram Sami Suva 25-24 at Prince Charles Park in Nadi today.
An early foul play by Nadi player on Keponi Paul saw Suva being awarded a penalty which fullback Enele Malele missed in the 4th minute.
It was Suva who broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute through Sefania Seveua, who stole the ball from the scrum and a quick tap chase saw him burst through the Nadi defence while Malele converted for 7 points.
But Nadi hit back in style through open side flanker Ilisoni Galala's little tap and chase towards the try line but Tevita Mociu failed to convert.
The hosts started to put pressure and had a good chance to score their second try from Jiutasa Nave after he chased a down field kick but the ball slipped out of his hands at the try line.
Minutes later, Captain Sivaniolo Luelume put Nadi ahead for the first time after he picked up a loose ball from the tackle and touched down but Mociu failed to convert again.
A good tussling at Suva's try-line saw Nadi fly half Semesa Muadono take advantage of an inflicted pass from Jolame Luvevou and he dived for their third try in eight minutes and this time Mociu converted for a 17-7 lead at half time.
Coming into the second stanza, Nadi continued to play more attacking rugby but Suva had to make amendments at their lineout.
An unforced error by Suva defence kept forcing them to lose points and Solomoni Tavai took advantage of a penalty play and he set up a wonderful try for Orisi Erenavula but Mociu couldn’t convert.
Suva’s poor ball possession was exposed by Manoa Tamaya after he spilled the ball right at the Nadi try-line.
Nadi kept pressuring and this time it was flanker Mosese Naiova who brought Suva back in the game after pushing through the tackle to reach the try line and Malele converted for 14 points.
Coming off the bench, Peni Tuiteci went past the heavy Nadi traffic and planted the ball right down on the line and Malele’s conversion cut down the margin to 21-22.
The final seven minutes of the match proved to be the toughest as Suva eyed to steal the Farebrother from Prince Charles Park after 34 years and a penalty to the capital city was successfully taken by Malele in the 75th minute.
With Suva in the lead, a dramatic atmosphere was up in Nadi until they received the final penalty and Mociu proved the hero.
Nadroga will be the next challenger.
By Romeka Romena