The Fiji Times
Namosi starts Skipper Cup campaign on a winning note
A 12-man Namosi outfit managed to come from behind to beat Tailevu 19-6 in their first round Skipper Cup clash at Thomson Park in Navua yesterday.
Namosi coach Asaeli Boko commended the efforts by his warriors, but said discipline would be an issue addressed before the next game.
“A winning start is what we wanted but we will look to improve on our the discipline before next week,” said Boko.
Tailevu team manager Levani Matea said they were unlucky but would learn from this game.
“We were outdone and missed some opportunities today, it’s something we will work on before our next game,” Matea said.
Tailevu drew first blood in the first five minutes with two early successful penalties from right in front by fullback Ilimeleki Leitoma after Namosi infringed in the ruck inside their own 22.
The crowd came to life when the hosts replied immediately in the ninth minute, when broken play saw silky passing create an overlap sending blind side wing Vinaya Habosi over for Namosi’s first try of the season which was unconverted.
Tension mounted in the 22nd minute which saw a scuffle ensue with punches thrown. Referee Kaveni Talemaivavalagi flashed the red card with both teams reduced to 14-men early, with Namosi number eight Sakiusa Nadruku and Tailevu’s Paula Nayacakalou sent off for the rest of the match and an early shower.
Namosi were further hindered when hooker Jone Naqiri was also red-carded for dangerous play.
Both teams headed to the break with Tailevu holding a 6-5 lead.
Namosi picked up the tempo at the onset of the second half despite the slight shower with Habosi showcasing silky footwork and strength to power over for his second try in the far left Navua River side of the pitch with fullback Esala Nalobo making no mistake adding the extras.
Namosi increased their lead in the 59th minute as the Tailevu defence began to give, with outside centre Onisi Ratave breaking from halfway to send halfback Peni Matawalu in for an easy try under the sticks with Nalobo adding the two points.
Tensions flared again in the last five minutes with Tailevu replacement inside centre Malakai Tobau and Namosi outside centre Aminiasi Natoga yellow-carded. Tams
Namosi: 1. Aseri Robarobalevu , 2. Jone Naqiri, 3. Alifereti Rabukawaqa,
4. Semi Baivi, 5. Eparama Luvata, 6. Apakuki Vuaviri, 7. Akapusi Roqica,
8. Sakiusa Nadruku, 9. Inia Naqia, 10. Joseva Vunisa, 11. Vinaya Habosi, 12. Cyril Reece, 13. Onisi Ratave, 14. Lepani Raiyala, 15. Amenoni Nasilasila, 16.
Savirio Raiqisa, 17. Atunaisa Maiono,
18. Ilaitia Sela, 19. Tomasi Sovilea,
20. Kelepi Naimasi, 21. Aminiasi Natoga, 22. Kalaveti Ravouvou, 23. Esala Nalobo, 24. Adam Pau’u, 25. Meli Nakarawa.
Tailevu: 1. Anare Sovanivalu, 2. Sireli Narawa, 3. Saula Naivakadranu, 4. Joseva Seitaba, 5. Jese Marovia, 6. Iowane Ligatabu, 7. Vio Ralagi, 8. Mosese Naiova, 9. Nemani Cavuilati, 10. Seru Vaniqi, 11. Sailosi Taka, 12. Uliano Cokanauto, 13. Osea Qamasea, 14. Paula Nayacakalou, 15. Ilimeleki Leitoma. 16. Noa Bula, 17. Jimilai Ducivaki,
18. Epeli Cawanibuka, 19. Eparama,
20. Sireli Qasenivalu, 21. Tiko Domonakibau, 22. Malakai Tobau, 23. Epeli Rokovaka.