- Fiji News
- Fiji Sports
By MAIKA BOLATIKI
The Outrigger on the Lagoon Nadroga team beat Lautoka 25 – 17 in a game riddled with errors.
Nadroga coach Esala Nauga said they were lucky to win as Lautoka gave them a very tough game.
“We know that Lautoka is always full of surprises but we managed to hold them back,” Nauga said.
He said he was very disappointed with the many mistakes the players committed and they were lucky to come out winners after a gruelling 80 minutes Digicel Cup encounter.
Nauga said Lautoka, with its new coaching staff, would be very tough if they progressed to the semifinals.
He said they had to work on their lineouts as both Seremaia Naureure and Seru Cakobau were off the mark.
Outrigger on the Lagoon general manager, Peter Hopgood said as sponsors they were happy with the win.
However, he said the match was riddled with mistakes from both sides and especially the champion Nadroga team.
He said Lautoka really gave the Nadroga team a good test and he thanked them for their courageous performance.
“Lautoka gave Nadroga a tough challenge and we were lucky to win,” Hopgood said.
He said he was optimistic Nadroga would continue to win and retain the Digicel Cup for another year.
For this to materialise, he said, they have to cut the mistakes.
Lautoka coach, Viliame Satala said they had prepared to win but they were unlucky to lose.
“We came to win but we were beaten by a very determined team,” Satala said.
Lautoka technical adviser Isikeli Mulase said they lost because of the bad decision of skipper Penioni Ranitu.
“We could have won if he had made the right decision with the kickable penalties but he opted to make a quick tap,” Mulase said.
“We gave the game away.”
The match saw Nadroga dominate the first half and Lautoka the second half.
Nadroga dominated all phases of play in the first half as the forwards worked together.
Led by skipper Mosese Volavola with the good support of Naureure, Setefano Samoca, Sekonaia Kalou and Ulaisasi Lawavou, they managed to punch through the Lautoka defence.
The loose trio of Iliesa Ratuva, Sailosi Ratuvoka and Volavola, were quick to the breakdown and managed to turn over balls.
Nadroga first try was by Peni Ravai after an intercept by lock Lawavou. He ran about 40 metres and offloaded to Ravai to score and was converted by flyhalf Ratunaisa Vatunaruku.
The second try by halfback Sakiusa Gavidi was the try of the match.
It was from a Lautoka scrum on the halfway and halfback Kemedi Bola picked up the ball, ran across and made an inside pass to No 8 Tomasi Vuadreu. Nippy Gavidi intercepted and scooted all the way to the tryline, His try was converted by his elder brother Rataunaisa.
With Nadroga leading 15-0, Lautoka never lost hope and the forwards started to work together and dominated play,
They scored a good try after a few drives and the conversion was successful.
In the second half it was all Lautoka,
Skipper Ranitu scored a wonderful try after a good drive by the forwards.
At 15- 12 Lautoka was on attack most of the time. The forwards punched through the Nadroga defence.
Nadroga was awarded a penalty and Jonetani Ralulu who came in as a replacement converted.
Lautoka continued to attack and was awarded with a try to bring the score to Nadroga 18 Lautoka 17,
Lautoka was awarded kickable penalties but skipper Ranitu decide for quick taps.
Nadroga scored in the 80th minute to seal the game 25 – 17.