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Navosa Central makes rugby league history

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, April 06, 2014

THEY entered the Fiji Secondary School Rugby League competition for the first time this year as an unknown side.

But after the semi-finals of the Vodafone sponsored event yesterday, all eyes will now be fixed on the Navosa Central College under-19 side when they run into Lawaqa Park to play Ba Provincial Freebird Institute in the final next Saturday.

This is after they surprisingly beat last year's finalist Marist Brother High School 18-16 in a tight affair at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.

Last week, the hill boys bombed Assemblies of God High School in the quarter-finals. Backed by a strong vocal support, Navosa Central proved to be a side not to be taken lightly.

Their open play game and individual skills was their strength in outplaying the bigger and slower boys from Flagstaff.

Navosa started well in the opening 10minutes, with a converted try but slowly lost concentration as the vocal crowd got into their minds.

MBHS took advantage of the situation to score twice and nailed a penalty to lead 12-6 at the break.

Navosa Central coach Jone Vosataki's pep talk at the break boosted his boys' morale for a comeback in the second spell.

MBHS had the first say in the second half to lead 16-6 but Navosa bounced back with a converted try in the 21st minute.

Nippy halfback Serupepeli Malasabe picked the ball from the side of the ruck and used his speed and stocky built to break through the MBHS defenders to score the winning try near the crossbar when Navosa Central was trailing 12-16 in the dying stages of the game.

MBHS had an opportunity to level score at the sound of the hooter but failed to convert the penalty.

Vosataki said his troops played well.

"This is history for us, coming in for the first time and to reach the final," Vosataki said during the post-match interview."

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