Ro­bust Aria Saves Nadi from De­feat

Fiji Sun - - Sport - WAISEA NASOKIA Edited by Leone Cabenatabua Feed­back: waisean@fi­

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.”

Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Nadi’s Kelepi Ket­e­dromo wins a line out against Macu­ata dur­ing the Skip­per Cup clash at Prince Charles Park, Nadi yes­ter­day.

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