June 18, 2022
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Nadroga outclasses Highlanders

Nadroga claimed sweet revenge against Naitasiri on Saturday, beating them 30-22 in Round 11 of the Skipper Cup at Lawaqa Park.

Nadroga captain Ratu Naisa Navuma opened the scoring with a try in the fourth minute after some hardwork from the forwards with flyhalf Jack Volavola converting .

The mobile Nadroga pack showed their prowess early with intent to play some running rugby.

Naitasiri went on the offensive and sortied into the hosts half for the first time in the game just 10 minutes in but were let down by some loose passes.

Nadroga extended their lead 19 minutes in with a quick set piece move of the back of the scrum which was reshuffled back through flyhalf Peni Kedralevu to find winger Taniela Rakuro unmarked to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try.

Naitasiri kept in the fight and slowed the momentum with some quick variation between the backs and forwards to allow the loosehead prop Asiveli Rokoua to crash over with fullback Kini Douglas adding the two points with 27 minutes gone.

Nadroga was penalized after numerous offside calls, with Douglas closing the gap to two points with a successful penalty from 30 metres out.

The hosts played to the whistle and were paid off as lock forward Josaia Cokaibusa who was denied their third try earlier in the game managed to dot down after some heavy work from the forwards.

The teams went to the break with Nadroga in front 19-10.

The Stallions kept the pressure after the restart and after a lost ball from the highlanders, Nadroga capitalized and with composure while under pressure, Kedralevu found a mismatch outwide to send centre Michael Naitokani stepping through the defence to score with the conversion outwide five minutes into the second half.

Naitasiri kept in the fight and with a dominating setpiece maul from the lineout, rampaged 10 metres undettered to the tryline with tight head prop Inoke Ravuiwasa scoring with Douglas missing crucial points on the conversion.

The game picked up for both teams.

Naitasiri was penalized in the contact area for infringing in the ruck, and Volavola would take a shot at goal to increase their lead to 27 points with 53 minutes gone.

Nadroga were reduced to 14 men when substitute looseman Manueli Ratuniyarawa was sent off for 10 minutes after a late hit on Douglas with 20 minutes to go.

Naitasiri took advantage looking to close the deficit.

The highland pack went into overtime hammering the white defence.

Openside flanker Tomasi Naiduki finally found a chink in the wall to scrape through to score their third try.

Substitute fullback Etonia Rokotuisawa kicked the conversion reducing the deficit to five points.

Naitasiri were penalized in the middle of the pitch as the too eager defence was penalized offside, with Volavola kicking a superb 50 metre penalty to send them just outside the reach 30-22 with 10 minutes left.

Naitasiri fired all cylinders with the clock winding down eager to fight to the dying whistle.

Naitasiri get a penalty 10 metres out from the Nadroga tryline and set the scrum, they swing it out left but the attack is met with strong defence.

Into the last five minutes and the black machine attempt to pick and drive with numerous phases but the impressive defensive work of Nadroga’s Jiuta Biau slowed the attack.

Naitaisiri number eight Jone Navori attempted to crash over the line but was caught not releasing in the tackle giving the hosts a big penalty after a huge defensive effort.

Nadroga held on to claim a bonus point victory.

The teams:

Nadroga: Aisake Aitani, Ratu Naisa Navuma, Taniela Vatunicoko, Joveci Naika, Josaia Cokaibusa, Ilikimi Naruma, Sakiusa Vosayaco, Eremasi Radrodro, Taitusi Lulusinu, Peni Kedralevu, Jone Dukumoi, Waisea Taninaloka, Michael Naitokani, Taniela Rakuro, Nedly Grant, Simione Bulai, Ilaitia Sela, Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Jiuta Biau, Serupepeli Cokanasiga, Eseroma Rikou, Eroni Tuivuna.

Naitasiri: Asiveli Rokoua, Jone Naqiri, Inoke Ravuiwasa, Misi Uluimoala, Esikia Macu, Maciu Vakacabeqoli, Tomasi Naiduki, Jone Navori, Anasa Raqili, Josua Yavala, Vili Kanatabua, Peni Tubuna,Uraia Torau, Kaliova Mocetadra, Kini Douglas, Savenaca Koroi, Anare Fifita, Maciu Nasila, Vilikesa Ravutu, Samu Gaunaca, Simi Drotini, Etonia Rokotuisawa,Vatili Vosawale.

By Noa Biudole


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