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Fiji Time: 10:49 AM on Friday 25 April

/ Front page / Sport

Missing link

Jone Kalouniviti
Sunday, December 08, 2013

"THIS is probably the better concept for Fiji rugby."

This were the views of both rugby camps after fans witnessed one of the most exciting games after a long while in the second round of the East versus West clash at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday.

Although the Rupeni Nasiga-led West side dominated the scoresheets 35-21 to go one up from the draw during the first clash, the game was played in the best of spirits and proved an entertaining encounter.

West ran in five tries against Easts' two.

And this sets the stage for a much anticipated clash next Saturday in Suva.

West team manager and former Nadroga captain Jikoibau Matawalu paid tribute to the Fiji Sports Council for reviving this very prestigious competition.

"We grew up hearing of the East versus West matches in the 1980s, this to us former players is the best concept and today we saw how it can turn out," said Matawalu.

Matawlu also paid tribute to his team as they turned their performance from last week around and showed more urgency in the breakdowns and discipline in maintaining possession.

"This only sets the stage for a more exciting clash next week."

East team manager and former rep Saiasi Fuli says the East vs West — being revived after 17 years — was a brilliant idea by the Fiji Sports Council.

"We hope this will carry through, the important thing is that it has started, and is the best way to gather the cream from the East and West.

"Maybe we need to work on the timing, for instance straight after Farebrother but I believe this is the best platform for selection in future.

Fuli said they would be ready for the West team come next week.

"We played well today, the West team just made use of their chances and showed more urgency."

Incentive wise the winning team takes home $7000 while all players are also paid an allowance.

Also included in the pack were under-20 players like Tailevu halfback Emori Waqa who entered in the second spell and sparked the Easts comeback, setting up a try for Apakuki Vuaviri and scoring one himself.

But the strength of the West loose forwards proved the difference with Nasiga, Asaeli Boko and Aca Simolo spinning the ball in the open at every chance.

West tries came from Boko, Simolo, lock Taione Ratu, fullback Aporosa Tabulawaki, and Nadi winger Makiti Turuva.Easts tries were by Waqa and Vuaviri.