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Close Call for Highlanders

Naitasiri 20-19 Northland Nippy Etonia Rokotuisawa was the toast of the Naitasiri side as they pipped Northland 20-19 in their Skipper Cup clash at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori last night.
10 Jun 2017 11:15
Close Call for Highlanders
Naitasiri centre Cyril Reece is nabbed by the Northland defenders during their Skipper Cup clash on at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori June 9, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Naitasiri 20-19 Northland

Nippy Etonia Rokotuisawa was the toast of the Naitasiri side as they pipped Northland 20-19 in their Skipper Cup clash at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori last night. Rokotuisawa scored eight points- two penalties and a conversion but however the Koli Sewabu coached- side failed to secure a bonus point to cement their semifinal spot.

What happened: In the 8th minute Naitasiri were awarded a penalty and Rokotuisawa kicked it over as they led 3-0.

Northland had possession as they pressured the Naitasiri defence, which saw Meli Nakarawa being injured and replaced by Paula Luveniyali.

In the 23rd minute Kemueli Navaitabua scored Northland’s first try with Keasi Naigulevu slotting the conversion.

In the 30th minute Filimoni Seru of Naitasiri copped a yellow card for dangerous play. This fired up the hosts as they fought gallantly and got a penalty try right on halftime.

Half Time: Naitasiri 10–7 Northland.

Naitasiri forward Filimoni Seru during the Skipper Cup clash against Northland at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori on June 9, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Naitasiri forward Filimoni Seru during the Skipper Cup clash against Northland at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori on June 9, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Northland started the second spell with a bang when outside centre Varasiko Nanuku crashed over for their second try with Naigulevu adding the extras as they regained the lead, 14-10.

In the 71st minute, Naitasiri hit back with a try to Etati Kasaqa with Rokotuisawa’s conversion going over.

In the 74th minute Naitasiri got their second penalty which was converted by Rokotuisawa to extend their lead to 20-14.

The Northland forwards toiled hard and in the 77th minute scored a try to Simione Ratabacaca who capitalised on a loose ball with the conversion going wide.

Comments

Naitasiri coach Koli Sewabu said: “It was a close win and I must say that it was a very tough game.

“We will try our best to get our game plan sorted out for next week especially to fully commit ourselves throughout 80 minutes of play”

Northland coach Watisoni Ratulevu said: “We had prepared for the whole week to win the game against Naitasiri and despite the loss the boys gave their best.

“I still have confidence in my players that they can prove themselves in the next game”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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