UNLUCKY Nadi went home yesterday with their heads held high despite failing to wrest the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy from holders Naitasiri at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
The Jack's Nadi side held on to the Tacirua Transport Naitasiri 25-25 in a gruelling and explosive encounter but it wasn't enough to scoop the prestigious trophy to the West.
The rules state the trophy will stay with the holders if the challenge match ends in a draw.
Nadi, which led 13-12 at the break, gave its all and came inches to scoring a try followed by replacement fullback Vatemo Ravouvou's drop goal which hit the upright in the dying stages of the match.
The Highlanders withered a barrage of unfortunate Jetsetters flight for the whitewash in the final 10 minutes of play.
Nadi coach Iliesa Tanivula was gracious in defeat but deep down, the former Fiji 7s mentor was equally mindful a victory went begging.
"It hurts especially for the guys giving their 100 per cent out there but it's a game and we understood that and we just got to move on," Tanivula said.
"It's disappointing but congratulations to Naitasiri, they came back and they held onto it well. Bad luck to our guys, we scored three tries and we drew the game but there are rules and regulations and we will abide by it."
Naitasiri coach Eroni Vereivalu was a relieved man after the final whistle.
He admits there was still room for improvement before they take on Tailevu next week Saturday.