It Was On Time: Ref Tells North­land

Fiji Sun - - Sport - WAISEA NASOKIA Edited by Leone Cabenatabua Feed­back: waisean@fi­jisun.com.fj

Ref­eree Sa­muela Tuidraki stood by his call yes­ter­day that he blew the fi­nal whis­tle right on time. This was af­ter HFC Bank Farebrother Tro­phy cham­pi­ons BLK Nadroga es­caped with a nar­row 24-17 win over North­land at Prince Charles Park, Nadi. The North­land Rugby Union ex­ec­u­tives con­fronted match com­mis­sioner Jova Uluiv­uda af­ter Tuidraki blew the fi­nal whis­tle claim­ing that they still had 10 more min­utes of play left. “It was time on the clock, we did stop the clock where there were stop­pages due to in­juries,” Tuidraki told SUNs­ports. North­land prop Sireli Le­dua al­leged that they were robbed of a win. “Our time says there was an­other 10 min­utes of in­jury time left on the clock but it has been cut short,” he said. Nadroga skip­per Sekon­aia Kalou said the win was for the late Turaga Na Kalevu Ratu Kini­jioji Vo­sailagi who passed away on Mon­day.

What hap­pened: The Stal­lions dom­i­nated play and in the third minute hooker Ratu­naisa Navuma scored their first try which was con­verted by Jone­tani Ralulu for a 7-0 lead. In the 18th minute No.8 Ne­mani Na­gusa scored as North­land were kick­ing away pos­ses­sion and this worked in Nadroga’s favour. Half time: Nadroga 12- 0 North­land. Three min­utes into the sec­ond spell North­land’s Isimeleki Leiloma kicked their first points of the match as they trailed 12-3. Two min­utes later light­ing winger Akar­avi Na­bati scored in the cor­ner for Nadroga as they in­creased their lead to 17-3. In the 51st minute North­land No.8 Jo­lame Bera scored a try af­ter great play from the for­wards, which Leiloma con­verted to close the gap 17-10. Nadroga lock Manoa Ta­maya ran in a try near the post which was con­verted as they en­joyed a 24-10 lead. North­land came back strongly and in the 79th minute re­place­ment flanker Sikeli Roko­suka dived over for a try which was con­verted by Leiloma but it was too late.

Big plays: Nadroga hooker Navuma was a livewire and was al­ways in the thick of things

Star turn: Akariva Na­bati put on a man of the match per­for­mance as he walked away with $250. Com­ments Nadroga cap­tain Sekon­aia Kalou said: “We thank North­land for giv­ing us a good game as it was a tough en­counter. “We did not un­der­es­ti­mate any team as they are in the top eight. The score line did not come as a sur­prise.” North­land cap­tain Sireli Le­dua

said: “We had been pre­par­ing for this match. To us there was an­other 10 min­utes of in­jury time left on the clock but it has been cut short.”

BLK Nadroga winger Aisea Natoga breaks the North­land de­fence at Prince Charles Park in Nadi yes­ter­day. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

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