Controversy surrounded Saturday's Nadroga club rugby T16 semi-finals at Lawaqa Park after there was no clear winner in the much-anticipated double header clash between Kalevu Shield holder Gaunavou and challenger Tuva.
Both teams were locked 8-all at full-time and were given five minutes of extra time to decide the winner.
But a furious Gaunavou manager Kavekini Nalaga stormed into the officials tent and demanded the game be awarded to Gaunavou since it was the Kalevu Shield holders.
"We are the Kalevu holder and the referee has blown full-time which means the current holder retains the shield," said Nalaga.
The former Fiji winger blamed the games committee for not being consistent with their decision.
Tuva team manager Jiuta Duba told officials that the match should continue with the extra time to determine who plays in the T16 final.
"It's a double header and there will be only one winner and the result is decided on the ground, not off the ground," said Duba.
Nadroga referees president Joe Bosoka tried his best to calm the situation as officials from both camps strongly voiced their opinions.
Lawaqa Park chief security Kadri Lalabalavu and his men had to escort frustrated rugby fans away from the officials tent.
While there was chaos off the field, veteran referee Napolioni Locoloco and his assistants, Jotame Turagasila and Rusiate Tuipeleaki, who are all highly respected in Nadroga rugby circles, remained cool as they told players from both sides to stay on the field and calmly wait for a decision, which the players obliged.
Bosoka explained to team officials that as referees, they were only officiating on the ground and the decision on a winner was made by the Nadroga rugby games committee.
"We as referees are free from this and the games committee should make the final ruling," said Bosoka.
After consultations, it was decided that Gaunavou retain the Kalevu Shield and both teams play the remaining five minutes of extra time to determine the T16 finalist. Tuva first five-eighth Tomasi Sovolea wasted no time kicking over a drop goal to give Tuva a 11-8 win.
Gaunavou rugby skipper Jone Qoroqorovakatini said the Nadroga games committee was at fault in not being clear on the rules on double headers.
Nadroga reps Setefano Somoca and Apete Salawaqavuka appeared for Gaunavou while Jonetani Ralulu, Mesulame Soga and Joseva Nahalo played for Tuva.
In the first semi-final, Davetalevu replacement halfback John Bruce kicked in the winning penalty in extra time to give his team a 6-3 win over Noitoga One.
This Saturday, Gaunavou will defend the Kalevu Shield against Noitoga One while Tuva will play Davetalevu in the T16 final.