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Suva starts with a bonus point win

Arin Kumar
Sunday, April 13, 2014

THE Suva rugby side made a dream start to the Skipper Cup competition with a 31-19 win over Northland yesterday.

Playing in front of their home crowd at the ANZ Stadium, the Capital City side scored four converted tries to exert their dominance over the visitors.

It was the hosts who were up on the board early in the match thanks to a try to lock Kevurueli Bulivorovoro who barged over close to the posts.

Loose forward Jitoko Usumaki, loose head prop Vesi Rarawa and tight head prop Leroy Atalifo respectively scored for Suva.

Winger Sailosi Vatubua easily converted all four tries from close range and even landed a penalty.

All of Northland's points came via fullback Tikilaci Vuibau who scored one try, kicked one conversion and slotted four penalties.

Suva's replacement lock Netani Vora was red carded in the final minutes of play.

Assistant Suva coach Belasio Vukiwai said it took them a while to settle in the match.

"This is our first game of the competition and it took our players a while to adjust," he said.

"But they did well and could have scored more tries but it's still a good start to the season."

Vukiwai commended Northland on their efforts in the match.

"They were a good team and played really well but for us, we still have a lot of areas to work on before our next game."

Northland manager Joeli Rabuli said his team lost to a more experienced side.

"Right now we have a development squad and most of the players are new to top level competition," he said.

"Nine of them made their debut in the provincial competition in the senior grade and they played really well against an experienced team like Suva.

"Some of them are under-20 reps and they adjusted well and I think it was a good experience for them."

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