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Ex-Reps Fired Up Naitasiri

Ex-Reps Fired Up Naitasiri
Mosese Voka of Namosi tackles Frank Lomani of Naitasiri during the 2018 HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge against Namosi at Thomson Park on July 28, 2018. Naitasiri won 21-20. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
July 29
12:41 2018

QAQA Naitasiri 21: (Nasoni Roko 1 try, Kini Douglas 3 pen, 1 try, Frank Lomani 1 con)

QAQA Namosi 20: (Alivereti Veitokani 1 try, 1 pen, Atunaisa Maiono 1 try, Asaeli Ratunaisa 1 try, Serupepeli Vularika 1 con)

What happened; Naitasiri are the new holders of the HFC Bank Farebrother Trophy after beating Qaqa Namosi 21-20 at Thomson Park, Navua yes­terday.

The Highlanders called in former reps to assist the team and it paid dividends as they lifted the coveted silverware and a $5000 cheque.

The veterans who beat Nadroga in 25-18 for the same silverware in 1998 are Waisake Tuisese, Ma­seikula Gaunavou,Ilaitia Tuisese (Junior),Timoci Tinaviti and Pita Suguturaga who assisted the forwards.

Asaeli Naiteqe, Ratu Peni Naulivou, Ratu Emori Tuisese, Semesa Ratuvou and Lasarusa Senibale guided the backline. The team had an overall guidance of Reverend Joji Rinakama and Sailosi Naiteqe Senior.

Naitasiri played well in the first 10 minutes re­sulting in veteran winger Nasoni Roko scoring the first try which was not converted by halfback Frank Lomani.

Eight minutes later Namosi replied with a try to Alivereti Veitokani who failed with the conver­sion, 5-5.

Indiscipline proved costly for Namosi as half­back Serupepeli Vularika was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.

Naitasiri first five- eighth Kini Douglas extended the lead with a penalty, 8-5.

Veitokani kept Namosi in the game with a pen­alty, 8-8 but Douglas was spot on in his second pen­alty.

Halftime: Naitasiri 11-8 Namosi

Namosi got off to a strong start in the second half as their forwards pack set the pace resulting in prop Atunaisa Maiono scoring their second try, 13-11.

Naitasiri fought back as their supporters cheered them on and Kini Douglas scoring their second try which was converted by Lomani, 18-13.

However the home crowd fired their team on re­sulting in wing Asaeli Ratunaisa scoring and con­verted by Vularika, 20-18.

Namosi was left to play with 12 men with five minutes to play after Mosese Voka was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Lomani while Ratunai­sa and Aca Simolo were yellow carded for punch­ing.

Naitasiri openside flanker Maciu Vakacabeqoli was also sin-binned for foul play.

The excitement builds with a minute remaining Naitasiri continues to fight on and rewarded with Douglas kicking a penalty in the 77th minute.

Fulltime: Naitasiri 21-20 Namosi

Big Play; Namosi players defended well.

Star Turn; Naitasiri deserves standing ovation for their gutsy performance.

Comments; Naitasiri acting coach Sailosi Naite­qe acknowledged the coaching panel that worked with the team throughout the week

“Rugby is a gentlemen sport so for a positive re­sult to be produced everyone needs to work togeth­er and I must acknowledge the former players for coming in and helping us.

“The main message to the players was for them to work hard and play 100 minutes of rugby.”

Namosi head coach Akuila Nasi admitted indis­cipline proved costly for them in the end.

“Good game from Naitasiri, they came prepared and for us indiscipline cost us the game. “

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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