The Fiji Times

Yasawa unlucky

- By ZANZEER SINGH

DEBUTANTS Yasawa won the hearts of the fans present at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday after a gutsy effort going down fighting 17-7 against traditiona­l rugby powerhouse Nadi in the Skipper Cup.

Yasawa was undeterred despite losing centre Joseva Vetaukula in the 26th minute and threatened to derail Nadi’s campaign with quick counter attacks.

Ball retention proved to be the setback of the ‘Flyers’ from the Yasawa Group as they were denied twice having lost the ball on the try line.

Despite the loss Yasawa proved worthy of promotion in the top flight showing that they were capable to rub shoulders with the big boys of rugby.

As anticipate­d the match drew a big crowd which prompted many announceme­nts to be on the social distancing requiremen­ts at Churchill Park however the fans blatantly failed to adhere to the seating regulation­s enjoying the action-packed fixture.

Nadi’s Sela Toga caught the Yasawa defenders napping in the 15th minute to slice his way over the tryline in the 15th minute.

Kavekini Varo landed the conversion and then nailed a penalty in the 28th minute to give the visitors a handy 10 point advantage at the break.

Yasawa started the match strongly in the second spell pushing up in attack and winger Inia Rokomatu dived his way over in the 50th minute. Eliki Naikusa converted from the sideline to bridge the gap to three points.

Vilive Miramira scored Nadi’s second try in the 60th minute with Varo succeeding with his second conversion.

Nadi team manager Jeff Tamata said they were fortunate to win against a spirited Yasawa team.

“We were expecting Yasawa to give us a tough time and they did that,” Tamata said.

“They managed to cross the line but lost the ball in the process.”

Yasawa Rugby Union secretary Kinijoji Rakata said they had no complaints since this was their first match.

He said they needed to rectify their mistakes as they go along in the competitio­n.

“We made a few mistakes especially on the Nadi tryline but that is part and parcel of the game,” Rakata said.

In other the under-19 fixture, Yasawa and Nadi drew 12-all while in the women’s match Yasawa defeated Nadi 22-17.

Yasawa: Sailosi Sekitoga, Moape Wara, Viliame Dalituicam­a, Brian Duaibe, Manasa Vatanitawa­ke, Rusiate Waqa, Ovini Nawalu, Joni Baleidama, Vilimone Marawa, Ananaisa Tuibua, Inia Rokomatu, Joseva Vetaukula, Eliki Naikusa, Waisale Kurisaravi, Semesa Muadonu.

Nadi: Josefa Radrodro, Ratu Vere Vugakoto, Josua Nabulivou, Viliame Boletawa, Asivurusi Naliga, Vilive Miramira, Taniela Waqavonovo­no, Marika Tivitivi, Kavekini Varo, Lisala Nawaqavatu, Sela Toga, Sireli Tuidraki, Vilikesa Driu, Ratu Osea Nawaqavatu.

 ?? Picture: BALJEET SINGH ?? Nadi’s Viliame Boletawa on attack against Yasawa during their Skipper Cup clash at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.
Picture: BALJEET SINGH Nadi’s Viliame Boletawa on attack against Yasawa during their Skipper Cup clash at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

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