NEW team Lautoka Warriors tasted victory in only their first rugby league match during the Vodafone-sponsored Fiji National Rugby League, Lautoka zone club competition on Saturday.
Warriors defeated a young Islands Electric Lautoka Crushers side 12-8 in a thrilling game during the premier division game at Churchill Park ground two. Crushers, one of the dominant forces in the western zone in recent years, felt a severe blow in the season opener.
Warriors victory was inspired by the experience of Eparama Naulumatua, Taniela Vatunitu, Meli Ratu, Jonacani Damudamu and Petero Vueti.
Former Fiji Bati manager Mesake Navugona, who is coaching the Crushers, said the opening game was always a tough game.
It is good to start this way. This is a wake-up call for us and we will go back to pull off the cobwebs, he said.
It is our first game. Most of these boys are very young and I am going to help them to lift their performance to the next level before the next game, the former Fiji Bati player said.
In the second premier match, Saru Dragons thumped newcomers West Tigers with a 30-12 win.
Lautoka zone official Lagilagi Golea said he was thrilled with the performances of the new teams.
What a way to start the season, Warriors beat the Crushers and Saru recorded a huge win, Golea said.
This is a good start for the season and I believe this year will be very competitive as the teams performance today, (yesterday) have the set the platform for the competition, he added.