Ratuva Tries Sink Heartland XV
In a close encounter BLK Nadroga edged out New Zealand Heartland XV 26-22 at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, last night. Speaking to SUNports, Heartland XV coach Barry Matthews dubbed the Stallions as ‘a very dangerous side.’
“Our boys lacked a bit of fitness and did not get the ball as much as we would like and when the Fijian side had the ball they were very dangerous and they showed it tonight,” he said. Heartland had a good start with Dan Hytongue scoring in the opening minutes of the game with the conversion by James Lash successful.
The Stallions took time to settle down but when they did they came through with Iliesa Ratuva scoring their first try which was converted by Kini Douglas leaving the teams levelled at 7-7. Nadroga struck again when Jone Delana scored which was converted by Douglas.
Unfortunately indiscipline cost them a penalty where Lash added three points to reduced the deficit to 14-10. New Nadroga first five eight Douglas scored their third try and converted it to leave the scores at 21-10 at halftime. In the second half Heartland XV captain Kieran Coll came back and scored a try with Lash adding the conversion as they trailed 21-17. The Kiwis took the lead 22-21 when Lemi Masoe scored a try and was not converted by Lash. But the hosts had the final say when veteran Ratuva scored his second try to seal the win 26-22. Nadroga rugby manager Verani Nakayaca said the win was expected as they had been training for weeks. “We will go back and look at our weakness as majority of our players are preparing for the Ratu Sukuna Bowl,” he added. Edited by Osea Bola