Robust Aria Saves Nadi from Defeat
Substitute Vilive Aria scored three tries as Jack’s Nadi came from behind to beat Macuata 22-17 in the Skipper Cup clash at Prince Charles Park, Nadi
What happened: The host started strongly but Macuata never gave up and took them head on. In the 21st minute Nadi fullback Inoke Cakautini converted a penalty for an early 3-0 lead. Six minutes later Macuata flanker Apakuki Vuaviri joined a backline move to score in the corner as they led 5-3 with the conversion going wide. Sensing an upset loss Nadi made a tactical change in the 30th minute with Inia Naqia coming in for Jonacani Erenavanua. Half time: Nadi 3-5 Macuata.
Nadi came back strongly in the second spell and in the 55th minute Aria broke through the Macuata defence to score their first try. The robust centre who plays for Army dictated Nadi’s play as they edged their way into the Macuata territory. Continued pressure by the host saw Aria score two more tries with Cakautini’s conversion taking their lead to 22-5. However, Macuata did not lose hope as they fought back with the backing of their vocal crowd. This resulted in winger Jioji Kalisito scoring a try in 69th minute which was converted by substitute first five eight Aliposo Bueta as they narrowed the deficit 22-12. This lifted Macuata as they took play into Nadi’s territory and managed to score a try through Salia Masiova in the dying moments of the game.
Big play: Macuata No.8 Nemani Biu worked tirelessly and was always in the thick of things.
Star turn: Vilive Aria’s presence saved Nadi’s day as he scored all their tries. Comments Nadi manager Jeff Tamata said: “First half we struggled to hold them but after the half time prep talk and changes made it changed things around. Our aim is for a top four finish this season and we still have two games left.” Macuata manager Ben Kameli said: “We had a good game. Our downfall was a number of silly errors made by the players. The plan was to beat Nadi on their home soil but we fell short. We hope to remain in the top eight at the end of the competition. We have a good chance of making it and the bonus point we scored should come in handy.”
Nadi’s Kelepi Ketedromo wins a line out against Macuata during the Skipper Cup clash at Prince Charles Park, Nadi yesterday.