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Champions Again

What happened? Police Blues has retained their title as champions after defeating Fiji Bitter NFA 18-15 in the RC Manubhai Suva Rugby Union Escott Shield grand final at the ANZ
04 Oct 2014 16:58
Champions Again
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians hooker Mesulame Dolokoro (second from left) with dad Kalisito (left) and mum Bale (third from left) along with his brother and sister at Nadi International Airport on November 10, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

What happened?
Police Blues has retained their title as champions after defeating Fiji Bitter NFA 18-15 in the RC Manubhai Suva Rugby Union Escott Shield grand final at the ANZ Stadium last night.
Fans of both teams flocked out in numbers to watch the 101st  final of the coveted silverware.
It was an exciting first half as the teams got down to business. Police looked sharp and scoring first from a penalty in the 10th minute by Mika Eleravou, 3-0.
NFA replied two minutes later with a try by fullback Nacani Wakaya and converted by Seru Vularika, 7-3. Police looked the stronger side as they camped in the NFA half for more than five minutes . Their hard work paid off  with a try to Uraia Tuidama  and the conversion was successful, 10-7. It looked intense and a lot of basic mistakes were made but that did not stop Police from brutally attacking the NFA defence. Their efforts resulted in another penalty kicked by Tuidama.

Halftime: 13-7
NFA improved a lot in the second spell as they went straight into attack mode, spending almost five minutes near the Police the try line. Constant pressure on the Police defence finally paid off when Meli Rusa drove past Police defenders scoring NFA’s second try, halfback Joeli Nabogikolo failed with conversion, 12-13. It was a hard hitting match and Enele Malele for Police, took a bad hit and had to be carried off the ground.
In the 55th minute Mikaele Ratuvou for Police was awarded a penalty kick but failed. Flanker Peceli Raiqeu for NFA got a yellow card while both teams scrambled to provide an opportunity to score a try but none were successful. Police played their cards right as a penalty was again awarded to them in the 63rd minute but again Tuidama could not make use of the opportunity.
Three minutes later, a handling error by NFA cost them as Tuidama picked up on the loose ball and scored the Police second try, 18-12.NFA tried hard to control possession of the ball and attacked fiercely which paid off as NFA was awarded a penalty which was successfully converted by Seru Vularika in the 68th minute, 18-15.  NFA tried desperately to score a try with the supporting fans urging them but they failed to do so as the clock counted down to fulltime.
Star turn
Uraia Tuidama was a standout player for Police.

Big play
Fiji Bitter NFA displayed a spectacular performance given their first time in an Escott Shield final.
Comments:
Police Blues coach Solomoni Nute said, “We thank God for the strength given to the boys.
We had to go out and prove that we are champions and we did just that and I am very happy tonight. We give thanks to the friends and family and supporters are here cheering the boys on.”
Fiji Bitter NFA coach Aquila Nasi said, “It was a great performance  by the boys but we were unlucky and didn’t get there. W didn’t fulfill our goal for the season but the boys put up a good fight tonight and we thank Police. We are now looking forward for next season.”

Army takes third place
Fiji Bitter Army Green 15- 13Covenant Brothers
Fiji Bitter Army Green finished off in third place of the RC Manubhai Suva Rugby Union Escott Shield competition after beating Covenant Brothers 15-13 last night at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
Fiji Bitter Army Green coach Josefa Taurivau was proud of the performance.
“We feel good, at least we walked away with something rather than nothing and I am proud of the way the boys played even though we had little time to prepare. I want to dedicate this win to all our peacekeepers and the Army family.”
Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

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