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Suva's Johnathan Petueli dives for the come back try against Nadroga during 2018 Skipper Cup Challenge final at ANZ Stadium on July 14, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
July 15
10:26 2018

Suva 36: (Enele Malele 1 try, 4 con,1 pen, Mesulame Doloko­to 1 try, Vatili Dukaki 1 try, Johnathan Petueli 1 try, Levani Kurumudu 1 try)

BLK Nadroga 35: (Jone Navori 1 try, Apisalome Waqatabu 5 con, Aporosa Tabulawaki 1 try, Sakiusa Qaiya 1 try, Ifereimi Tovilevu 1 try, Setefano Somoca 1 try).

What happened: Qaqa Suva side are the new champions of the Skip­per Cup Premiership title after de­feating Nadroga 36-35 in the final at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, yesterday.

It’s the capital side’s first Skipper Cup Premiership title win since its inception in 2014 and ended Stal­lions four-year reign

The Peni Raidre– captained side won $30,000 while Nadroga re­ceived $15,000.

Nadroga dominated the first 40 minutes and left Suva on the defen­sive on most occasions

But Suva’s Enele Malele drew first blood with a try which he also converted, 7-0.

The try motivated the visitors as they drew level with No. 8 Jone Navori scoring and converted by Apisalome Waqatabu,7-7.

Aporosa Tabulawaki showed he has got speed to burn scoring Na­droga’s second try which was con­verted by Waqatabu, 14-7. The Stal­lions continued their dominance scoring their third and fourth try through Sakiusa Qaiya and Ifere­imi Tovilevu with both tries con­verted by Waqatabu, 28-7. Fullback Malele kept Suva within striking distance with a penalty, 28-10.

Nadroga looked dangerous in at­tack and ruthless in defence.

Halftime: Nadroga 28-10 Suva

Suva had a strong start in the sec­ond half as they capitalised on a loose ball and scored a try through Vatili Dulaki which was converted by Malele, 28-17.

But the Nadroga subs played a huge role with the leadership of veteran Setefano Somoca who bull­dozed his way through the Suva defence to score Nadroga’s fifth try which was converted by Waqatabu, 35-17.

Suva replied with their third try to livewire hooker Mesulame Dolokato and converted by Malele, 35-24.

Nadroga were down to 14 men after Sailosi Rabonaqica was sin-binned for foul play. This gave Suva the edge as Johnathan Petueli scored a try which was converted by Malele, 35-31.

Suva lifted momentum and fought back as winger Levani Ku­rumudu scored their fifth try to win the game,35-36.

Big Play: Nadroga played an enter­taining attacking game.

Star Turn; Suva played a superb game in the second half.

Comments; Nadroga captain Ru­peni Nasiga said;

“I thank our supporters for com­ing out in numbers and rugby is the winner in the end.

“We have been holding this title for four years but it’s not the end of the world. Our next target is the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge Series.”

Suva captain Peni Raidre said;

“I want to thank Nadroga for giv­ing us a good game and for showing us they are the champions of Fiji rugby. It was a good challenge for us and I thank our supporters for being there for us.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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