SPORTS

Close Win For Suva Over Nadroga

What happened? RC Manubhai Suva emerged victorious to claim the Dan Lobendhan Trophy and remain unbeaten in the 2015 Skipper Cup competition. A strongly contested match from kick-off, the hosts
27 Jun 2015 09:39
Close Win For Suva Over Nadroga
Suva captain Isake Katonibau (left), fends off Nadroga’s Savenaca Rawaqa during the Skipper Cup match at Bidesi Ground in Suva yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci

What happened?

RC Manubhai Suva emerged victorious to claim the Dan Lobendhan Trophy and remain unbeaten in the 2015 Skipper Cup competition.

A strongly contested match from kick-off, the hosts kept the edge on the Stallions and secured a penalty, kicked by former Nadroga first five eighth Ratu Meli Kurisaru in the 7th minute, following up with another penalty in the 10th minute.

Fullback Jaoji Dakuvula followed with the third penalty in the 19th minute to put Suva at 9-0. Nadroga finally responded in the 34th minute as loose-head prop and Telecom Fijian Warrior Peni Ravai ploughed through Suva’s defence to score the first try of the match, converted by Peceli Nacebe.

Halftime: RC Manubhai Suva 12-7 BLK Nadroga

The Stallions came back in the second half reinvigorated and ready to get back into the game as Aca Simolo broke Suva’s defensive line in the 44th minute to score Nadroga’s second try, Nacebe’s kick sailing too wide and missing the conversion, the score sitting at 12-12.

After a tussle for possession, Suva gained the ball with Dakuvula kicking a surprise drop goal in the 70th minute to delight the home crowd, coupled with a penalty from Kurisaru to take the capital side to 18-12.

Number eight Eremasi Radrodro resurrected Nadroga’s hopes of winning as he scored a try with just seconds to go to fulltime, but Nacebe’s kick failed and the game ended, Suva 18-17 Nadroga.

Star turn:

Captain courageous and Vodafone Fijian 7s rep Isake ‘Ice’ Katonibau made the crucial decisions to take penalties rather than go for the tryline in such tightly contested space, and essentially led Suva to victory.

Big play:

Suva proved they could defeat the defending champions and rugby powerhouse, But at the same the Stallions must be given credit for managing to respond to all the penalties with actual tries.

Comments:

RC Manubhai Suva head coach Salimoni Ravouvou, “It was a tough game, clearly indicated by the fact that all our points were from penalties and one drop goal. It was disappointing seeing the boys miss a number of opportunities to score tries.

“It’s an honour for Suva to beat the champions of Fijian rugby and it’s been a long while since we were able to do this so we’re very thankful for the support of all the sponsors and fans for turning out in big numbers.”

BLK Nadroga head coach Esala Nauga, “I want to thank the boys for today’s game. It’s clear they gave away too many penalties which Suva used to their advantage and that’s what got them the win.”

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 

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