SPORTS

Blues Claim Rugby League Tanoa

An experienced Fiji Police Force side edged out the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) 20-16 in the 2016 ANZ Ratu Sukuna Bowl Rugby League clash at ANZ Stadium, Suva
23 Nov 2016 11:00
Blues Claim Rugby League Tanoa
Its on...battle of the blue and red team begins at the Vatuwaqa Golf green on Wednesday afternoon.Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

An experienced Fiji Police Force side edged out the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) 20-16 in the 2016 ANZ Ratu Sukuna Bowl Rugby League clash at ANZ Stadium, Suva yesterday. RFMF got off to a good start with tries to Jaoji Dakuvula, Sitiveni Sokotiviti and Jio Qalobula. However, Police picked up the pace in the second half shutting out RFMF with Maika Navuni, Josefa Katonibau and big Jim Patrick running in the much-needed tries for the narrow win.

Police rugby league manager Aminisitai Seru told SUNsports that experience and fitness gave them the advantage.

“It was a hard fought game and we thank the Lord for the strength that He gave to the boys today,” he said as Police are also the Fiji National Rugby League’s sanctioned Vodafone Cup champions.

“The boys stuck to the game plan, we started off a bit slow in the beginning but the boys came through towards the end, and we are all happy that we came out victors. We knew that the military team had prepared really well as they have a lot of resources within them.

“I guess the experience that we had gave us the advantage over them and that was how we edged them out. The fitness of the boys were on par and they kept playing right to the final whistle.”

Seru said the pressure is on them now as the RFMF side will come back better prepared next year.

“They have played and know what to expect in such a game so they will be better prepared for 2017. Introducing rugby league as a new sport in the Ratu Sukuna Bowl is a good thing. I think it is good for both organisations and good for the future of FNRL as well, this would help grow the sport. I thank the Commissioner of Police and our families who are the backbone of the team and also our supporters and Telecom for sponsoring the team. This win is for everybody.”

RFMF coach Jese Koroibula said though they are new to the sport, they are proud of the way their players performed and they would come back better prepared next year.

“We are new to this game and most players have been playing rugby throughout this year and only a few have been playing rugby league.

“Police gave us a good game but I thank the boys for playing their hearts out until the final whistle. We are hoping to give them a good game next year.

“There were a few difficulties we faced like sponsorship but we are thankful to the RFMF for supporting us and being behind us. Playing this game for the first time, we know what to expect now.

“Our running lines and defence were not up to par as we played according to their game plan and not ours so we were under pressure. We will come back better next year,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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