ALIVERETI Kenatale and the Vatukoula fans lit up the ANZ Stadium on an otherwise dull afternoon.
Suva, having made several changes with key players injured or being rested, retained the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy 32-20.
Vatukoula returned home ruing their early missed tackles and defensive lapses in concentration which allowed Suva to go 19-0 up in 16 minutes.
They fought back bravely despite struggling in set-pieces. They showed heart and fighting spirit. They lost the game but won a lot of fans with their courageous display, especially their forwards who at times did not buckle in face of the mightier Suva pack and dared to take them on.
Their travelling fans were a joy to watch too as they whistled, cheered, screamed, ran up and down the embankment seats and with the flow of the game.
They never let their team feel as if they were playing from home by drowning out the Suva cheer group on the main stand.
The lively Kenatale, at stand-off, was instrumental in each of Vatukoula's three tries and we will surely see a lot of him in the new season. Suva plays Naitasiri next week.
7th minute: Suva 7-0. Vatukoula lose their lineout throw and several phases later James Brown finds himself a gap to go in under the sticks. Isoa Donaldson converts.
14th minute: Suva 12-0. Wing Sunia Kubu powers home following an overlap. Donaldson misses conversion attempt.
16th minute: Suva 19-0. Fullback Necani Wakaya is next to score as the opposition defenders are stunned with three tries in 16 minutes. Donaldson converts.
19th minute: Suva 19-3. Flyhalf Alivereti Kenatale kicks a penalty.
22th minute: Suva 19-3. Suva prop Manasa Saulo sin-binned for stomping.
26th minute: Suva 19-3. Vatukoula fullback Saimoni Nuku is stretchered off and in comes Emori Ratu.
39th minute: Suva 19-8. Good backline move sees Ratu touch down in the corner.
Half-time: Suva 19-8.
12th minute: Suva 19-8. Vatukoula lock Malakai Bari sin-binned for high hit.
14th minute: Suva 24-8. Vatukoula lose possession inside their 22 and from the turnover Kubu scores his second try. Donaldson misses conversion.
20th minute: Suva 24-15. Kenatale scores with a brilliant individual effort. A dummy and a show-and-go and he makes a complete fool of the opposition defence. Some talent this flyhalf. He converts.
30th minute: Suva 29-15. An aimless defensive clearance by Vatukoula goes straight to a Suva player and couple of touches later substitute Jo Brown scores in the corner. He misses his own conversion attempt.
35th minute: Suva 29-20. Kenatale takes off on another big run, headed for the corner. He draws an opposition and cleverly flicks in-field an overhead pass for Eroni Qase to dive over.
40th minute: Suva 32-20. Donaldson kicks a last-gasp penalty.
Suva: 1 Vesi Rarawa, 2. Samu Suguturaga. 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Jone Delana, 5. Save Tabakanalagi, 6. Jo Levula, 7. Peni Raidre, 8. James Brown (c), 9. Aporosa Kenatale, 10. Isoa Donaldson, 11. Sunia Kubu, 12. John Stewart, 13. Apisai Naqaliva, 14. Vilitati Sokiveta, 15. Necani Wakaya.
Reserves: Peceli Mara, Veresi Daku, Alipate Mateivelia, Nacanieli Namata, Iliesa Matanisiga, Jiuta Kuriqamo, Jo Brown.
Vatukoula: Savenaca Driu; 2. Tevita Seru; 3. Viliame Logavatu; 4. Malakai Bari; 5. Matai Ucutabua; 6. Tevita Nodrakoro; 7. Timoci Ratu; 8. Nikolai Baleitamavua; 9. Atunaisa Livanalagi; 10. Alivereti Kenatale; 11. Lepani Raiyala; 12. Robuli Rinakama; 13. Sakiusa Tavodi; 14. Josaia Qumi; 15. Saimoni Nuku.
Resereves: Saimoni Nadore; 17. Vilivo Namoceica; 18. Eroni Qasi; 19. Emosi Batiniu; 20. Poasa Seru; 21. Apenisa Rokosuka; 22. Emori Ratu; 23. Waisea Kedraika.