SPORTS

Simple Rugby Delights

Fans at Ratu Cakobau Park witnessed the best game of the 2016 Skipper Cup competition yesterday. A new generation of players from Malolo and Naitasiri aiming to stamp their mark
15 May 2016 14:57
Simple Rugby Delights
Akuila Dole of Malolo scores a try against Naitasiri yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Fans at Ratu Cakobau Park witnessed the best game of the 2016 Skipper Cup competition yesterday.

A new generation of players from Malolo and Naitasiri aiming to stamp their mark on the domestic scene put on an exciting and stunning display.

Although Naitasiri won the fiery encounter 21-13, the effort put in by the coaching staff was displayed in contrasting styles by the players.

But the most pleasing aspect was that both teams tried to execute the game plans to perfection not by overdoing things but trying to play the basics of the game simple

Fledgling Malolo showed why they deserved to be in the major ranks after going down battling to the end in their first defeat.

Coach Mosese Volavola said they knew what to expect from Naitasiri.

“We trained for this type of encounter and I’m happy my players stood the test,” the former national 7s captain.

“We tried playing simple rugby and doing the basics right.

“We could not have asked for a better game to prepare us to play unbeaten Suva in Lawaqa Park next week.”

Naitasiri coach Reverend Joji Rinakama applauded the win after going down to Nadi last week.

“This is a new generation of Highlanders and I’m trying different combination every week,” he said.

“We are slowly developing the rapport within the team and it’s a matter of time before we gel.

“I want more deliverance from the players and we need to keep on working hard.”

 

Dan the Man

What happened: Malolo started the game well with the good power play from the forwards with scrumhalf Josua Kuricove linking and masterminding moves. This resulted in two early penalties.  Meli Qaniuci missed the first but evergreen Jiuta Lutumailagi drew first blood with the second attempt.

Tight-head prop Dan Ligairi provided the firepower for the Highlanders using his low elevation to score two tries in quick succession to extend the lead 12-3

Ligairi was yellow carded for a late tackle and Malolo using the shortfall to their advantage with Lutumailagi spinning the ball out wide for Aminiasi Tuimabe to score, 12-8.

Etonia Rokotuisawa extended their lead with a penalty.

Halftime: Naitasiri 15-8 Malolo

Rokotuisawa extended the lead with a penalty, 18-8.  But Malolo bounced back with a try to Akuila Dole after two Naitasiri players try to toy with the ball close to the sideline. Malolo up the tempo and dominated the scrum and came close to scoring twice.

But the vocal Naitasiri crowd added that extra gush and surge for the players to finish off strongly with Rokotuisawa nailing the final penalty for the win.

Big play:

Ligairi maximize his size to good use resulting in two tries.

Star Turn

Rokotuisawa played a good kicking game and is key player for the team.

Comments

Malolo coach Mosese Volavola: “Good effort so far, need to tidy up plan before we play Suva.”

Naitasiri coach Rev Joji Rinakama

“We failed to score twice near the tryline. We need to keep the momentum as we slip in the third quarter.”

 

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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