Sukuna Bowl re­turns to Nasova

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JUS­TINE MAN­NAN SUVA Edited by Osea Bola

The great rugby ri­valry be­tween the Fiji Po­lice Force and Army is over.

Po­lice last night suc­cess­fully de­fended the coverted Ratu Sukuna Bowl by beat­ing Army 22-12 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

A big crowd were there to wit­ness an­other spec­ta­cle of run­ning rugby and hard hits be­tween the two se­cu­rity forces.

Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama was also present.

Po­lice won the first Sukuna Bowl chal­le­nege back in 1951. Army last won the Bowl in 2014. Naisa Koroi Also read More on Sukuna Bowl

The Fiji Po­lice Force de­fended the ANZ Ratu Sukuna Bowl ti­tle beat­ing Army 22-12 in rugby at the ANZ Stadium in Suva last night. Army got off to a good start scor­ing the first try from Paula Dranis­inukula which was con­verted by Tik­i­laci Vuibau for a 7-0 lead.

Po­lice set­tled down slowly in the game as Iliesa Ratuva fought his way through the Army defence to score a try which was con­verted by Apisa­lome Waqatabu, 7-7. Both teams fought hard but mis­takes by Po­lice cost them as Josaia Lotawa put Army in the lead with a try, 12-7. Po­lice came back re­ju­ve­nated in the sec­ond spell tight­en­ing up their defence. For­mer national sevens player Mi­tieli Nacagilevu came through for Po­lice scor­ing the sec­ond try which was con­verted by Waqatabu to lead 14-12. Army con­tin­ued to fum­ble and did not make good use of pos­ses­sion as Po­lice cap­i­talised on their mis­takes with a penalty from Waqatabu to push Po­lice fur­ther in the lead, 1712. Ten­sions be­gan to rise and ba­sic mis­takes were made as Nacagilevu was yel­low carded for a high tackle. Po­lice defence was tested by Army and they held their ground well.

Jone­tani Ralulu scored the last try for Po­lice seal­ing their win, 22-12. With Army lead­ing 12-7 at half­time, Po­lice coach Save­naca Aria told his boys that their de­ci­sion in the sec­ond half will be cru­cial to the out­come of the game.

“I told the play­ers to lift their game, keep Army guess­ing and a try in the sec­ond half was cru­cial,” Aria said.

“I feel re­ally happy and re­lieved that this is all over and that we man­aged to come out with a win. “I take my hats off to the Nadroga boys who came on in the sec­ond half and they pro­vided the impact. “We kept to our game plan and the boys did their job out on the field and I am proud of them for the way they played. “We have been away from home for four weeks and the fact that this win came out means our hard work and sac­ri­fice paid off. “We thank God for be­ing with us in train­ing for a month and we thank all the boys and we would like to ded­i­cate this win to our Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice and to the po­lice­men who had to work dur­ing this time.” Mean­while, Army manager Ma­jor Apolosi Veve said de­spite the loss, they will take what they have learnt and work on it to come back big­ger and bet­ter next year. “It was a good and very tough game that Po­lice gave us and we did not man­age to win but hats off to both teams, espe­cially Army for a good game,” he said.

“I think the com­pe­ti­tion this year was prob­a­bly the same as last year but our boys were not in sync with each other this year. “But we have taken a lot from this game and we will def­i­nitely go back to the draw­ing board and look at our strengths and weak­nesses and go on from there so that we can come back bet­ter next year.

“I want to thank all the sup­port­ers who came out in num­bers to be here and sup­port the boys, it was un­for­tu­nate that we could not win but next year is an­other for us to try.”

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