Sukuna Bowl returns to Nasova
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.”