Ag­gres­sion Key to North­land Win

Fiji Sun - - Sport - CHARLES CHAM­BERS Edited by Leone Cabenatabua charles.cham­bers@fi­jisun.com.fj

Ag­gres­sion was North­land’s trump card as they out­classed Lautoka 26-10 in their Skip­per Cup en­counter at Nadovu Park, Lautoka, yes­ter­day.

Added to this, the vis­i­tors’ speedy back­line made nu­mer­ous in­roads through the Lautoka de­fence through­out the match.

What hap­pened: North­land en­tered the match with that de­ter­mi­na­tion to win and did not al­low the home side find their rhythm. Their loss last week to Suva was in their minds and was a re­minder to them all week dur­ing train­ing. North­land drew first blood in the 15th minute when cen­tre Manasa Vu­ni­takali scored and in­spi­ra­tional half­back Imeleki Tuileloma con­vert­ing to give them a 7-0 lead.

Lautoka replied not long af­ter when prop Te­vita De­lailo­ma­loma barged over in the cor­ner to nar­row the gap, 7-5 with the con­ver­sion go­ing astray. Not to be out­done, North­land hooker Epeli Le­dua barged over for his try fol­low­ing a penalty which North­land used to kick for touch. Through the en­su­ing li­ne­out, North­land con­trolled the ball in the for­wards to score. The con­ver­sion failed and North­land led 12-5 at the break.

Half­time: Dur­ing the break, Lautoka coach and for­mer in­ter­na­tional Ifer­eimi Rawaqa stressed for more com­mu­ni­ca­tion from his play­ers and for the backs and for­wards to com­ple­ment each other. Two min­utes af­ter the break, Lautoka’s back­line started to look good with passes gain­ing them mo­men­tum. How­ever, as was the story of their game, drop passes and loose give­aways proved their down­fall as North­land cap­i­talised on a move that went wrong. A loose pass was picked up by North­land which saw in­side cen­tre Na­soni Nase­dra dart un­touched to score and Tuileloma con­vert­ing for the vis­i­tors to stretch their lead to 19-5. Lautoka came back to­wards the lat­ter stages of the match fol­low­ing a yel­low card of­fence against North­land. From the li­ne­out five me­tres out, Lautoka started a maul and from a ruck, Vuki­matana dived over to score. The con­ver­sion missed with the score at 19-10. North­land had the last say when

an­other loose pass was pounced upon by Tuileloma who scored and con­verted bring­ing the fi­nal score to 26-10. Big play: North­land’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and ag­gres­sion in all facets of the game. Com­ments Lautoka coach Ifer­eimi Rawaqa said the ba­sics let the team down. “There was too much loose passes and the boys gave away too many penal­ties,” he said. North­land coach Ti­moci Tuinav­iti said they were de­ter­mined, espe­cially af­ter their loss to Suva. “I told the boys we will go and de­feat Lautoka on their home ground. “We played ac­cord­ing to the game plan.”

North­land team at Nadovu Park yes­ter­day.

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