SPORTS

Stallions Beat Gutsy Northland

A gutsy performance from Northland took a star-studded Nadroga side to the wire before bowing out 17-13 yesterday. Losing inspirational skipper Sireli Ledua due to a concussion early in the second
21 May 2017 11:47
Stallions Beat Gutsy Northland
Sakuisa Qaqa dives in for try to secure Nadroga’s win over Northland during Skipper Cup Competition on May 20, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

A gutsy performance from Northland took a star-studded Nadroga side to the wire before bowing out 17-13 yesterday.

Losing inspirational skipper Sireli Ledua due to a concussion early in the second half and trailing 17-3, the hosts fought back to thrill their fans during the Skipper Cup clash at Gatward Park, Korovou.

Northland manager Maciu Koroi said because of the wet ground their game plan was to kick the ball deep into the Nadroga territory and pressure them into mistakes and go for turnovers.

“We once did this to Nadroga during one of our Farebrother challenges and we did it again today,” he said.

Koroi said despite their hearty performance their forwards need to work hard.

Nadroga technical advisor Franck Boivert told SUNsports that there was no continuity in their play.

“We had poor control and allowed Northland back into the game. Our discipline was not there and there’s no excuse for such performance.”

What happened: Nadroga took an early 3-0 lead through a penalty by fullback Apisalome Waqatabu. Led by experienced forwards of Setefano Somoca, Rupeni Nasiga, Sailosi Dawai, Eremasi Radrodro, Vasikali Mudu and Nemani Nagusa, the Stallions dominated play but were held back time and again by the tenacious Northland defence.

In a promising move Nadroga second five eight Eroni Vasiteri spilled the ball forward when he copped a tackle while trying to force his way over the line.

In the 36th minute the Nadroga forwards were penalised for offside and Northland’s Keasi Naigulevu slotted it over.

Halftime: Northland 3-3 Nadroga

The Nadroga forwards immediately took control at the restart as they drove their way to the Northland tryline.

They kept the ball close to them and mounted on the pressure. In the 50th minute from a five-metre scrum, Nadroga No.8 Nagusa took to the blindside and crashed over the tryline with Waqatabu’s conversion taking their lead to 10-3.

Play was held up for a while as medics attended to Ledua who got injured from the scrum and had to be taken to hospital.

At the restart Nadroga from a lineout move executed a rolling maul with Mudu breaking away and offloading to halfback Sakiusa Gavidi who dived over for their second try while Waqatabu extended their lead to 17-3.

Then it was all Northland. In the 61st minute Naigulevu kicked in his second penalty as they trailed 17-6. In the 72nd minute from a scrum Northland flanker Tomasi Naiduki zeroed his way past the Nadroga backline before passing it to fullback Savenaca Gaunca who wrong footed Waqatabu to score under the post with Naigulevu adding the extras to leave the final scores at 17-13.

Big play: At the start of the second half when the big Nadroga forwards took control of play and scored two quick tries.

Star turn: Gavidi for masterminding their moves when close to the Northland tryline.

He was not only guiding his forwards but was also providing support which saw him score their second try.

Yellow card: Nagusa for a high tackle on Northland hooker Lemeki Tuyawa in the second spell

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