SPORTS

Tailevu Deny Naitasiri Hosting Semis

As for Tailevu, first five-eighth Lepani Seaduadua could have consolidated the team Premiership status in 2020 if he was spot on with his kicking.
09 Jun 2019 10:54
Tailevu Deny Naitasiri Hosting Semis
Tailevu outside centre Simeli Koniferedi offloads against Naitasiri during the final round of the Skipper Cup Premiership clash at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on June 8, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

It was a day of misses than hits at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori yesterday.

Both Tailevu and Naitasiri will rue the missed opportunities which were there for the taking in the final pool game of the Skipper Cup Premiership, which ended in a 15-15 tie.

Instead they have to do it the hard way once again with the Highlanders losing the chance to host a home semifinal against Nadroga this Saturday as they will be travelling down to Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.

In the other semifinal, unbeaten Suva will host Nadi at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

SEADUADUA OFF TARGET

As for Tailevu, first five-eighth Lepani Seaduadua could have consolidated the team Premiership status in 2020 if he was spot on with his kicking.

He missed two penalties and a conversion in the first half and two penalties in the second spell.

He should improve his line kicking. His opposite Kini Douglas should lift his game if Naitasiri coach Ilaitia Tuisese Jnr gives him that No.10 spot again at Lawaqa.

Naitasiri made a statement of intent in the 4th minute when they opted for a lineout when they were offered a penalty in front of the posts.

But the missed opportunity haunted them missing out on a definite three points in the end.

CAPTAIN’S LEAD

In a seesawing game, definitely not for the coaching manual, Naitasiri finally drew first blood in the 34th minute.

Naitasiri captain Seremaia Naureure finished off a forward surge by penetrating through the retreating defence to score between the posts, which was converted by Douglas.

In the 40th minute close combat by the forwards near the tryline resulted in Tailevu captain Mosese Naiova scoring, which was not converted by Seaduadua.

Halftime: Naitasiri 7-5 Tailevu

Seduadua kicked a penalty for Tailevu to lead 8-7 for the first time in the game.

But replacement wing Paula Tiko cancelled the lead following a good counterattack with players combining well with simple inter-passing, allowing the veteran to score in the corner.

Douglas missed the conversion, but was spot on kicking a penalty for the 15-8 lead.

TAILEVU EMPTY TANK

But Tailevu emptied the tank in a unified force as their constant assault on the tryline resulted in replacement loose-head prop Samu Tudravu scoring between the posts with Seaduadua adding the conversion.

Namosi beat Northland 29-15 at Thomson Park and they confirmed Premiership status in 2020 after amassing 11 points after round six.

But Tailevu officials are optimistic they are level on 11 points and have a better points’ differential.

But Fiji Rugby Union senior operations officer Solo Finau said they will finalise everything once they received the finer details from match commissioners at all match venues.

Either Tailevu or Northland will join Rewa in the Vodafone Vanua Championship competition in 2020.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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