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Maiono Seals Win For Namosi

Maiono Seals Win For Namosi
Namosi players and officials celebrate after winning the Skipper Cup semifinal against Naitasiri on June 8, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau
July 09
11:00 2017

Viliame Maiono kicked Namosi to victory through a penalty in sudden death to edge Naitasiri 16-13 in the Skipper Cup semifinal at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori yesterday.

Even though Naitasiri dominated the game, Namosi managed to score the equaliser ending the game 13-13 at fulltime.

Naitasiri’s Frank Lomani had the chance to win the game for the Highlanders but his kick fell short.

Kicking under pressure is never easy and Maiono said playing against Naitasiri is one of his toughest matches so far.

“I was kicking with the wind and all I had to do was kick the ball a little bit towards the post and the wind would do the rest,” Maiono said.

“It was a very tough match and also challenging because Naitasiri was really strong and there were moments in the game where we thought we would not make it.

“Naitasiri were ticking all the right boxes in defence and attack but we had to maintain our composure and stick to the game plan.

“A lot of my kicks did not go in because of the pressure, the expectation of the crowd and the boys so it was really tough.”

Meanwhile, head coach Akuila Nasi said they made a lot of mistakes during the game but was happy and proud of the boys for pushing on.

“Playing Naitasiri at home has been one of our toughest games and to come away with a win we are very happy,” Nasi said.

“We did not have a perfect game, we were kicking away a lot of possessions and a lot of quality balls and the chase was not there.

“So we needed to keep possession in the last 20 minutes, apply pressure and managed to come away with that last try to tie the scores up.

 

What happened: Tough physical match but Naitasiri managed to get the first points with a penalty by Lomani, 3-0.

Basic mistakes plagued the Namosi side as Naitasiri took advantage and was  awarded a penalty try.

 

Halftime: Naitasiri 10-0 Namosi

Namosi managed to close the gap in the 52nd minute with a penalty kick by Maiono, 10-3.

Naitasiri’s defence held firm keeping the visitors at bay but Namosi’s Lovu Kurumudu found the try line as Namosi was trailing by two points, 10-8. Lomani, again, kicked a successful penalty kick to extend Naitasiri’s lead, 13-8.

However, Namosi did not give up hope as Atu Maiono scored a try while Viliame Maiono’s successful penalty kick equalised the scores to take the game into sudden death.

Edited by Osea Bola

 

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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