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Disappointing Performance, Says Coach

Disappointing Performance, Says Coach
Action between Northland and Vatukoula during the Skipper Cup Competition at Gateward Park in Korovou yesterday. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI.
April 24
16:38 2016

Northland secured their first win in the opening round of the 2016 Skipper Cup competition when they walloped Vatukoula 20-5 at Gatward Park, Korovou yesterday.

What happened: It was a physical battle for both teams as they braved the wet and muddy environment. Northland drew first blood with a penalty kick from first five eight Alifereti Mocelutu to give them the lead, 3-0. The slippery conditions made it difficult for both teams to keep possession of the ball. Good defence shown by Vatukoula denied Northland a chance to score.

In the 27th minute, Northland was awarded a penalty try because of lack of control in the set pieces by Vatukoula causing a collapse in the ruck; a successful conversion from Mocelutu extended Northland’s lead to 10-0 at halftime.

Half time: Northland 10-0 Vatukoula

Vatukoula found it difficult to settle down in the second half making basic mistakes and giving away half of the possession to Northland. Northland players showed their aggressive side but discipline was against them as Mocelutu and Samuela Curulala was shown yellow cards for dangerous tackle.

In the 23rd minute, Northland’s Mesake Tuinamena gathered the ball and chipped  head but was not able to reach it.

After three minutes of putting pressure on Vatukoula’s defence Simeli Naivaludua scored Northland’s second try with Simeli Ledua adding the extra two points to further their lead 17-0. In the 78th minute, Vatukoula finally managed to score a try from a pick and drive by Penijamini Naqase, 17-5.

Basic errors again by Vatukoula cost them as Northland took advantage of that adding three points from a penalty kick by Mocelutu to end the game 20-5.

Big Play: Though down 17-0, Vatukoula kept fighting back and got a try as a reward through Naqase.

Star turn: Northland’s Mocelutu was the star of the show with his accurate kicking.

Comments: Northland coach Watisoni Ratulevu, “It was a good start for us in this Skipper Cup competition and a good boost for us also. We only have four old players from our team last year, the rest are all new and young and this win is a boost for them. A good start is always welcomed especially when we know how tough this competition can get. All we need to do now is build up on this momentum in our next game.”

Vatukoula coach Senirusi Seruvakula, “Disappointing to say the least, we had our chances but we did not capitalise on it.

The boys knew what they had to do and were told what to do but the problem is they did not do it so that is going to be a problem. We cannot afford to keep playing like this because like all teams in this competition we want to make it to the top eight and this kind of performance will not get us there.”

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