Northland Prepare For Vanua Semifinal Clash

The Northland rugby team are on track to win back their spot in next year’s Skipper Cup competition.
03 Oct 2020 11:10
Northland Prepare For Vanua Semifinal Clash
Northland hooker Dan Ligairi (facing the camera) after scoring the first try against Macuata during the Vodafone Vanua Championship at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on October 2, 2020. Photo: FRU

The Northland rugby team are on track to win back their spot in next year’s Skipper Cup competition.

The Isake Katonibau coached- Northland side beat Macuata 27-16 yesterday to book their spot in next week’s Vodafone Vanua Championship semi-final.

Northland assistant coach, Banuve Dretiverata, said, despite playing at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori, Macuata gave them a tough game.

“We look forward to the semi-final next week,” he said.

“We kept the ball in the forwards and played it tight and we produced the result in the last 20 minutes.

“We will go back and work on our weaknesses, before we play in the semifinal.”

What happened: Northland took the lead in the 6th minute with a try to hooker Dan Ligairi and the conversion by Emosi Mulevoro was not successful.

Macuata replied with a penalty by Viliame Raqio, in the 14th minute to narrow the deficit 5-3.

In the 17th minute Kelemete Koroidimuri scored Macuata’s try as they hit the lead 8-5.

Northland’s first five eighth, George Talei, missed two penalities but converted the third penalty to level the scores.

Halftime: Northland 8-8 Macuata.

Northland started well in the second half with their bigger forwards taking control.

They dominated the scrums and in the 60th minute scored their second try from a pushover as they led 13-8.

Their joy was shortlived when Macuata centre, Josese Degei, dived over to score their second try in the 63rd minute to level the scores at 13-13.

Northland skipper, Malakai Namalo, scored their third try after being set-up by their tighthead prop Inoke Ravuiwasa, with the conversion going over for a 20-13.

Viliame Raqio booted over another penalty as Macuata closed the gap to 20-16.

Right on fulltime, Northland were awarded a penalty and they worked their way over to score a converted try to make it 27-16.

Comment: Macuata assistant coach: Meli Tabanicala said: “We have a bunch of new boys who played today.

“I’m proud of them and the way they played.

“We are building up for another two or three more years.”


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