The Fiji Times

Stallions rule



Nadroga’s backrower Eremasi Radrodro prepares to off-load on attack. Nadroga retained their Farebrothe­r title after beating Suva 15-13 in extra time at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday.

THE Nadroga rugby team dedicated its first double header victory over Suva to all supporters that were affected by COVID-19 forcing them to stay home and unemployed.

“Qi votaia na wini okwe vuaru na valeqwai ju vacakacaka I na ledju yahana qai nia i Visi.”). “I dedicate this win to all our supporters in the province and the country who are jobless due to COVID-19,” said Nasiga.

“Especially to those who are bedridden and are sick at their own homes and to the former players associatio­n and the ones from abroad who are supporting us,” Nasiga said at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.

Nadroga defeated Suva in a match worthy of a final 15-13.

The Stallions led in the first half 8-5 and came back strong in the second spell to beat the Skipper Cup champion Suva in extra time from a penalty try.

In the other 2020 Skipper Cup matches held yesterday, former cup holders Naitasiri defeated Lautoka 2911 at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori, Nadi beat Yasawa 17-7 at Churchill Park in Lautoka, while a 13-man Namosi team outplayed Tailevu 19-6 at Thomson Park in Navua.

THE Nadroga rugby team stood by their words to play until the final whistle and they proved it at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka beating Suva 15-13 in extra time yesterday.

It was Suva all the way until the final three minutes of play when Nadroga played from their 22 metre line with more than 10 phases of play.

A penalty called in the five metre line in Suva’s territory saw the Nadroga forwards push the Suva scrum back to the tryline three times before the referee called for one last attempt and ran under the goalpost to award a penalty try.

Nadroga team captain Rupeni Nasiga said faith moved mountain and that same faith within the team enabled them to achieve their goal.

“The message from the players in the final minutes of play were to bond and work as a team until they score a try,” said Nasiga.

“We were told by the coach at the half-time break to play our own style of rugby that Nadroga is known for.”

Suva started off strong in the game as their fly half John Manu sliced through the Nadroga team beating three defenders to score their first try with an unsuccessf­ul attempt from Enele Malele.

Suva led 5-0 after seven minutes of play however from a turnover play from Nadroga in the 20th minute gave Nadroga veteran fullback Apisalome Waqatabu the opportunit­y to kick a three pointer for the home team and Suva missed another three point in the 25th minute as the score remained 5-3 with the Capital City side leading the Stallions.

However Nadroga forwards pack pushed the Suva scrum to score their first try from halfback Joseva Kuricuva to take them to the lead in the break 8-5.

Suva open side flanker Vasikali Midi had to leave the field early in the first half suffering a knee injury.

Ten minutes into the second spell, Suva levelled the scores 8-all from John Manu’s boots.

The Nadroga scrum has improved from last year especially against Suva and they’ve gained several penalties from the scrum.

John Manu created another attack play 25 minutes in the second spell that linked his backline and he scored his second try for Suva to take the lead to 13-8 with an unsuccessf­ul conversion.

However the home side kept their hopes alive and played from their territory until they won the match.

Namosi will be up next to challenge the Farebrothe­r Sullivan trophy next weekend.

 ?? Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU ??
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 ?? Picture: RAMA ?? Seveci Nakailagi of Naitasiri on attack against Lautoka during their Skipper Cup clash at Ratu Cakobau Park yesterday. Report inside.
Picture: RAMA Seveci Nakailagi of Naitasiri on attack against Lautoka during their Skipper Cup clash at Ratu Cakobau Park yesterday. Report inside.

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