The Samisoni Rabuka-captained Cuvu College beat favourites Ratu Navula College 18-13 in the Western Zone Secondary Schools Rugby final at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday. Cuvu College is the new holders of the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Trophy but it was not an easy match of 70 minutes of rugby. Cuvu College will now meet Nasinu Secondary School while Ratu
Navula College faces Ratu Kadavulevu School in the Deans playoffs in two weeks time.
What happened: Cuvu College started their campaign on a high note with the vocal crowd behind them. The match was very entertaining as both sides tried to top the western zone. In the fourth minute Cuvu College scored the first try to centre Poniani Botiniu.
Three minutes later RNC first-five eighth Viliame Vibote kicked a penalty to close the gap 5-3.
In the 17th minute flanker Serupepeli Nakita scored a try to lead 10-3. Six minutes later RNC prop Josua Bulivou scored and was converted by Vibote to level 10-10. In the 31st minute referee Johnson Lee awarded a penalty to Cuvu College where Esala Nalobo kicked; 13-10.
Half time: Cuvu College 13-10 Ratu Navula In the 49 minute Vibote kicked the penalty to level 13-13. Six minutes later winger Tira Wilagi had the last laugh after RNC lost the ball from the base of the scrum to score in the corner.
Big Play: Nakita played a man of the match performance.
Star Turn: Cuvu College forwards defended their fort in the last 10 minutes to deny RNC.
Cuvu College manager Nanise Tubou said, “Cuvu College has never won the West U18 title before and we are elated over the win. This was possible through sheer hard work, dedication, parental and school support. It was not an easy season but the boys stuck together.” Ratu Navula College principal Setareki Merekula said, “It was a classic game as the performance was excellent from both teams and we are proud. We look forward to the Deans playoffs.”
Victors Cuvu College after defeating Ratu Navula 18-13 in Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka yesterday.