Skipper Cup

We believe: Tuisese Jnr

The Highlanders believe in themselves and deserved to be in the final, says Naitasiri head coach Ilaitia Tuisese Junior. The Highlanders beat Nadroga 20-17 in the Skipper Cup Premiership semifinal
08 Nov 2020 13:33
We believe: Tuisese Jnr
Etonia Rokotuisawa kicks the final penalty that secured Naitasiri's spot in the Skipper Cup final. Photo: Naitasiri Rugby

The Highlanders believe in themselves and deserved to be in the final, says Naitasiri head coach Ilaitia Tuisese Junior.

The Highlanders beat Nadroga 20-17 in the Skipper Cup Premiership semifinal in extra time at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori  yesterday.

“We had a game plan and we stuck to it, hats off to the boys for a gallant effort,” he said.

“The boys had to fight hard until the end.

“We believed in each other and that gave us the win and we are looking forward to the final.

“This game is history now I’ve reminded the boys to stay humble and focused.

“We will go back and have a review of our game and come back stronger for Suva.

“I want to thank the fans and the province of Naitasiri for their support.”

What Happened:

As expected both teams started with pace and power.

Nadroga started to rattle the Naitasiri defence by trying to shift the ball wide.

Naitasiri’s defence was firm where they turned over the ball and attacked the Nadroga line.

The Highlanders were awarded a penalty in the 10th minute where they opted for a scrum which they dominated.

The forwards started to take control and scored a try through skipper Sireli Kaloucava in the 15th minute which was not converted by Kini Douglas.

Nadroga was awarded a penalty in the 17th minute that was not converted by Sakiusa Gavidi.

Nadroga replied with a try to Napolioni Nalaga in the 20th minute with the try converted by Gavidi to take a 7-5 lead.

Naitasiri were awarded a penalty in the 26th minute of play that was not converted by Vuate Karawalevu.

Nadroga was reduced to 14 men after hooker, Ratunaisa Navuma, was red carded in the 38th minute for foul play.

Halftime: Nadroga 7-5 Naitasiri.

Nadroga was awarded a penalty in the 46th  minute that was not converted by Gavidi.

Naitasiri started using their forwards and that saw Kaloucava scored his second try in the 60th minute which was not converted by Rokotuisawa to take a 10-7 lead.

Jiuta Lutumailagi kicked a penalty to lock the game 10-10.

Naitasiri was awarded a penalty in the 68th minute that was not converted by Rokotuisawa.

Naitasiri lock Necani Nawaqadau scored in the 70th minute with kick converted by Rokotuisawa to take a 17-10 lead.

Nadroga’s Eremasi Radrodro scored in the dying stages to lock the game 17-17.

Fulltime: 17-17l

Extra time: In the first minute of extra time Nadroga was awarded  a penalty that was missed by Lutumailagi.

Rokotuisawa nailed the winner for Naitasiri in the 14th minute of extra time to give Naitasiri the victory.

Edited by Osea Bola

 



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