SPORTS

Panthers Rule FNRL Nines

Dee Cees Nadera Panthers coach Vula Dakuitoga was relieved when they hoisted the Vodafone Fiji National Rugby League Nines title with a close 8-6 win over Sabeto Roosters. The Cup
15 Oct 2018 10:30
Panthers Rule FNRL Nines
Nadera Panthers rugby league team with coach Vula Dakuitoga (wearing cap) after their win at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on October 13, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Dee Cees Nadera Panthers coach Vula Dakuitoga was relieved when they hoisted the Vodafone Fiji National Rugby League Nines title with a close 8-6 win over Sabeto Roosters.

The Cup final was played under floodlights at Prince Charles Park, Nadi on Saturday night. Panthers scored the lone try of the first half to winger Jone Nabetelevu to lead 4-0.

The Nadera-based side had the services of Luke Nadurutalo, Mosese Nasagavula, Simione Qiolevu, Josefa Feresi, and Jone Tikoikadavu.

In the second half, second rower Maikeli Dakuitoga scored their second try to extend their lead to 8-0. Not to be outdone Roosters replied with a try to Etonia Moitoga under the post which was converted by Roger Taylor as they narrowed the deficit to 8-6.

Roster fielded Ponipate Roni, Sauliasi Nui, Jone Ratulevu and Tikiko Noke.

“It was a good game, they (Roosters) are a champion team,” Dakuitoga said.

“We beat them in Suva in the USP Nines and they won the Suva Nines, now we’ve beaten them again and full credit to the boys.”

The former Fiji Bati rep said the average age of his players is 22.

“The senior players in the team are my son (Maikeli) who is 31 and Luke (Nadurutalo) who is 28. They are there to guide the young players.

Roosters’ captain Taylor said: “The boys played well. In a game one has to win and one has to lose.

“We’ve accepted the result and it will not end here.

“We are a successful team and we’ve to be on par with the other teams at all times. We will go back to the drawing board and come back stronger in the next round.”

In the semi-finals, Roosters edged out Nadi Eels 12-10 and Panthers beat USP Raiders 10-8.

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

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