THE Nasinu Panthers rugby league side made a successful start to their title defence in the under-19 category of the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League Association competition yesterday.
Captain Inosi Seru led by example to guide the Nasinu Panthers to a 10-4 win against Lomaivuna Roosters in their first match at the Veiuto Primary School grounds.
Seru scored a try and marshalled his troops to defend well against a determined Roosters side that were attacking non-stop during the match.
The Panthers have also stamped their mark as the top side in the pool of the Vodafone-sponsored competition.
FSSRL assistant secretary Uraia Toribau said the match was unpredictable given the wet and muddy field conditions.
He said the competition between the two was fierce yet "clean".
"The match was a good, physical but clean game between the two teams," Toribau said.
"Competition was so intense that we thought the match would go either way when Nasinu were leading by just two points at half-time (6-4)," he said.
"This was because Nasinu were defending for three quarters of the match but they won because they made good use of the opportunities that came their way."
He said despite the heavy rain after midday in the capital city, players managed to make the games interesting to watch.
"Also we would like to acknowledge the presence of parents and supporters of the team, some of whom came from as far as Lomaivuna and Navuso to cheer for their children and teams," Toribau said.