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Highlanders Spot On

Highlanders Spot On
QAQA Naitasiri holders of the 2018 HFC Bank Farebrother Trophy at Ratu Cakobau Park on August 4,2018.Photo: Ronald Kumar
August 05
11:32 2018


It has been awhile but cham­pagne rugby returns and was there for all to see at Ratu Ca­kobau Park, Nausori yesterday.

It was billed as the game of 2018 and indeed it lived up to expecta­tions.

BLK Nadroga Stallions came pre­pared but failed to conquer a reju­venated QAQA Naitasiri outfit who displayed an exemplary show of power, pace and precision in the 26-17 victory.

Like an orchestra playing the right note, the Highlanders were tuned to the right key in an almost clinical display in front of the jam-packed crowd dominated by the ‘Go Black Go’ partisan and vocal Naita­siri fans

Simple Rugby Key: Rinakama

Assisting the coaching staff, for­mer Naitasiri mentor Reverend Joji Rinakama said they could have scored more.

“We aim to cut down mistakes and the boys almost executed it to per­fection.

“We planned to play simple and not overdoing things. We could have scored more if the players stuck to phase play in the second half.”

Nadroga captain Rupeni Nasiga

“We came with a mission but fell short in the end as the Highlanders dominated and it was their day. We look forward to the new season.”

Solo Finau-FRU Senior Operation Officer

“It has been a long time and I’m fortunate to be among the thou­sands at Ratu Cakobau Park. Defi­nitely the game of 2018.”

Former national rep Mesake Rasari

“Proud of my team, Highlanders back in business.”

The Frank Show

Naitasiri halfback Frank Lomani deserved the man of the match per­formance.

He was in the thick of action and twice he had to be attended to.

“Someone tried to eye-gouged me and was floored by a late hit in the second one.

“But I’m happy we played to plan and we stuck to it until the final whistle.”

He scored two tries and kicked two penalties.

What happened: The Stallions drew first blood with a try through Fiji Airways Flying Fijians hooker Ratunaisa Navuma,

Naitasiri halfback Lomani replied with a try to draw level 5-5.

Two more penalties extended the Highlanders lead 11-5 before Serre­maia Naureure scored between the posts at halftime which was con­verted by Kini Douglas to put them 18-5 in front at halftime.

Lomani scored his second try after continuous bombardment for the tryline by the forwards, 23-5.

Nadroga scored two tries to centre Sakiusa Nakalevu and No.8 Sailosi Rabonaqica, 23-17.

But Lomani sealed the win a long range penalty, 26-17.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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