Skipper Cup

Suva Earn Bonus Point, On Track For Skipper Defence

The Ram Sami Suva rugby side kept their chances of defending the Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship title alive with a 33-7 bonus point win over AY1 Northland at Buckhurst Park,
09 Apr 2022 18:34
Suva Earn Bonus Point, On Track For Skipper Defence
Suva flanker Osea Bolawaqatabu on the drive against Northland in their Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship at Buckhurst Park on April 9, 2022. Photo: FRU Media

The Ram Sami Suva rugby side kept their chances of defending the Skipper Fiji Rugby Championship title alive with a 33-7 bonus point win over AY1 Northland at Buckhurst Park, Suva, today.

What happened: It was a scrappy start as both teams failed to settle down and committed basic mistakes.

Suva took the lead midway in the first half when Setareki Raoba kicked the ball into touch, five metres from the Northland tryline.

From the lineout, Suva prop Ananaia Rabonu took the ball and was brought down short of the tryline and scooping it up was prop Mateo Qolisese, who drove over for the first try. Raoba converted to make it 7-0.

Then Northland came alive with nippy halfback Suluka Tunaka’s fast deliveries kept the big Suva forwards running.

This created a gap in the midfield for Northland’s Joseva Rokomatu to run through and score their first try under the post and Apenisa Deve landed the conversion.

Suva kept the ball close to their big forwards as they bulldozed their way forward. From a forward drive, Qolisese was brought down short but Kolinio Bulabalavu ripped the ball of him to dive over for second try. Raoba converted.

Halftime: Suva 14-7 Northland.

The visitors came out firing and time and again were held-up on the Suva tryline.

A tactical change by Suva saw Josaia Tagivetaua coming in at halfback while Jone Manu moved back to first five eight berth.

This worked for them as Tagiveitaua’s timely deliveries allowed Manu to dictate play. From a forward drive powerful Suva lock Nemani Dausiga crashed over to score the third try with Raoba’s conversion going wide.

Again, the Tagivetaua- Manu combination exploited a loophole in the Northland defence as Suva captain, James Brown ran untouched to score under the post with Raoba adding the extras.

Suva kept on the pressure to score their fifth try with the conversion making it 33-7.

Turning point: When down 14-7 and close to Suva’s tryline Northland were awarded two penalties in front of the post but they opted to tap and go. The Suva defence held them back and this frustrated them as they began to back pedal.

Suva: 1. Mateo Qolisese, 2. Kolinio Bulabalavu, 3. Ananaia Rabonu, 4. Nemani Dausiga, 5. Manoa Tamaya, 6. Kolinio Tamanitoakula, 7. Osea Bolawaqatabu, 8. James Brown ©, 9. Jone Manu, 10. Jeke Suguturaga, 11. Setareki Raoba, 12. Taniela Naqali, 13. Taniela Soqoniwasaloa, 14. Epeli Misiamate, 15. Enele Malele.

Reserves: 16. Jason Monua, 17. Peni Kunabuli, 18. Jack Costello, 19. Apisai Senileba, 20. Jiuta Takubu, 21. Josaia Tagivetaua, 22. Elia Ratucove, 23. Paul Dolokoto

Northland: 1. Saiasi Koroi, 2. Osaia Seru, 3. Manueli Naciva, 4. Lorima Nodrakoro, 5. Jone Tukana, 6. Malakai Namalo, 7. Epeli Basituka, 8. Manueli Laqai, 9. Suluka Tunaka, 10. Jone Moroivalu, 11. Jone Kelekelevesi, 12. Joseva Rokomatu, 13. Pita Tabuarua, 14. Eveueli Tamani, 15. Apenisa Deve

Reserves: 16. Sevanaia Raciuciu, 17. Osea Savui, 18. Marika Cabenalevu, 19. Josateki Seru, 20. Eminoni Kakaca, 21. Morotekei Nabalarua, 22. Sikeli Vakadewabuka, 23. Karai Tuidraki



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