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Malolo Hold Nadi to A Draw

Malolo Hold Nadi to A Draw
Malolo captain Veniona Vuki is taken down by the Jack’s Nadi defence in the Skipper Cup clash at Prince Charles Park, Nadi yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
June 12
14:55 2016

The Veniona Vuki captained- Malolo rugby team came from behind to hold Jack’s Nadi 18-all in their Skipper Cup clash at Prince Charles Park, Nadi yesterday. Dazzling runs by Malolo winger Aminiasi Tuimaba proved to be the talk of the town after an epic 80-minute battle.

What happened: Centre Meli Qainuci registered the first points in the early minutes as Malolo led 3-0 after the Nadi forwards were penalised for an infringement. Nadi with the likes of Lote Nasiga, Cyrill Reece, Isoa Donaldson, Jiuta Takubu and Iliesa Bari immediately hit back.

A lapse of concentration in the Malolo defence saw Reece ran in two tries with the second one converted by first five eight Aseri Vatuinaruku as they led 12-3. Nadi kept the pressure on and Donaldson extended the lead to 15-3 through a penalty.  Malolo got their act together and though a pick and drive movement saw first five eight Semi Tuivunilagi dived over to score as they reduced the deficit 15-8.

Half time: Nadi 15-8 Malolo

In the second half the hosts took control as Malolo were penalised in the breakdown and in the 44th minute Nadi’s Kavekini Varo came off the bench to convert a penalty as they extended the lead 18-8. Two minutes later Apenisa Nasorovakatini was sin-binned by referee Aisake Drekeni for unprofessional play. In the 53rd minute number eight Timoci Davu, scored a try after winger Tuimaba ran around his counterpart from the halfway line to close the gap 18-13.

Malolo suffered a setback when Davu was stretchered off the field for an injury he sustained. In the 60th minute it was Nadi’s turn to suffer when Nasorovakatini made a late tackle on crafty pivot Juita Lutumailagi in their own 22-metre line, referee Drekeni did not hesitate to show him the red card. In the 67th minute Tuimaba scored in the corner to level the score 18-18 after a tough phase of play led by the forwards.

Star Play: Reece, Donaldson, and Jiuta Takubu played well in their respective positions.

Star turn: Vuki, Lutumailagi, Tuimaba, and Orisi Terei played well for Malolo.



Malolo captain Veniona Vuki said: “This is historic for us to draw with Nadi at their home turf. It was a tough game as we had expected it. But we came for a win.”

Nadi manager Jeff Tamata said: “We are not happy with a few decisions made by the referee but nonetheless it was a tough game to play at home. We had a good start but failed to capitalise at the end but will work on our mistakes to prepare for the next match.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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