GAUNAVOU survived a tough challenge from Saunaka to successfully defend K K's Hardware shield in the Nadi rugby club competition held at Prince Charles Park yesterday.
Livewire flanker Jone Tanoa was the toast of his team scoring the winning try to help his team retain their title.
But it was the challenger Saunaka under the leadership of former Nadi and national hooker Joeli Lotawa that made a strong start registering the first points of the game.
The Saunaka boys pressured the reigning champions early in the first spell but failed to continue the momentum in the later stages of the game.
Saunaka failed to make use of the amount of possession they had allowing Gaunavou to capitalise.
Backed by their vocal supporters the reigning Nadi club game champion began to dictate play in the second spell.
Tanoa was in top form for the Gaunavou side making crucial turnovers and had a hand in the team's last try to take his team into the lead.
Gaunavou coach Jo Tora saluted his troops for their grand effort.
He said Saunaka provided a tough competition and commended his players for successfully defending the trophy.
"It was a tough game but I thank my players for their effort," said Tora.
"The hunger to win and teamwork contributed to our win.
"The boys followed the game plan set out for them and I am glad that we have retained our title."