DEFENDING Digicel Cup champions Nadroga maintained its winning streak yesterday.
The Stallions ran riot over Rewa in a six tries to two, 36-17, victory at the Burebasaga Grounds. It was a David versus Goliath match-up. Rewa had something to celebrate when Netani Siga drew first blood with the penalty in the 7th minute.
Mitieli Tokaibai extended the home team's lead in the 12th minute with a try, converted by Siga.
That was when Nadroga hit back as they ran in three tries before halftime to Rupeni Nasiga, Apisalome Waqatabu and Jonetani Ralulu. While Ralulu only managed to convert only two it was enough to put them in a good lead at the break, 19-10. A surprise burst from Acura Loco saw the Nadroga defence buckle as the wing planted a beautiful try under the posts seconds into the second half. Siga's boots put Rewa just two points behind Nadroga.
Nadroga, true to its champion status and their winning reputation, outclassed the opposition from thereon. Fatigue crept into the older Rewan outfit but Nadroga's youthfulness and better preparation kept the crowd entertained as the last 30 minutes of the game belonged solely to them.
Nadroga wing Aporosa Tabulawaki's try put them out of Rewa's reach in the 58th minute of play. Nadroga continued to attack while Rewa was left with no choice but to defend with whatever little territory and possession that came their way. Ralulu broke through a defensive tackle to extend Nadroga's lead with his second try of the game.
Fullback Aisea Natoga, who took over the kicking responsibilities from Ralulu, failed to convert. Towering lock Nasiga ran in his second try and Nadroga's last 10 minutes before time to seal victory. Nadroga coach Esala Nauga was disappointed with the mistakes he identified.
"We could have played a better game, we could have scored more tries," he said.
"Our general play was weak and so was the late recycle of the ball at the breakdown. At this stage, we cannot afford to be making these kinds of mistakes if we want to successfully defend our title."
Rewa coach Watisoni Ratulevu applauded his boys for the effort, saying they had managed to take advantage of some of Nadroga's weaknesses that led to two of their tries. "To come out with two tries like that against a team like Nadroga is something we need to pat ourselves on the back for.
"We have not won a game but the performance today (yesterday) has improved. We will focus only on the positives as we look forward to our next game."
Nadroga takes on Suva next week while Rewa will play Tavua.