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Goalkickers' role vital

Kameli Rakoko
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

GOALKICKERS win and lose matches.

This is exactly what happened in the first round of the Skipper Tuna provincial rugby competition that kicked off without any major upsets last weekend.

However, Northland's Tikilaci Vuibau took the cake for scoring all the points with a try, a conversion and four penalties.

Although it was not enough for Northland to beat Suva, it gave them some respectability early in the season against a powerful side. He will be Northland's killer weapon this season.

Tailevu kicker Jaoji Dakuvula scored three penalty goals for a close 9-7 win against Lautoka and the burden of the provincial side will be on his shoulders and boots this season.

Lautoka lock Nacanieli Loga took over kicking duties midway through the game but was successful with one conversion and missed other penalties which could have won them the game.

The lock took over kicking duties from first-five Moape Turaganikeli, who missed all penalty attempts in a bleak day of kicking for the Maroons. They dominated most facets of the game but lacked a proper goalkicker.

On Saturday, Naitasiri's Kini Douglas scored 10 points with his boots on the same ground as the Highlanders pipped Nadi 25-21.

Suva winger Sailosi Vatubua scored four conversions and a penalty for Suva but Northland's Vuibau scored a try, converted it and bagged four penalties in perhaps the finest kicking display of the weekend.

Nadroga's Jiuta Lutumailagi scored four conversions and missed the fifth while Vatukoula's Alifereti Veitokani scored three conversions and a penalty.

However, Namosi, that were impressive in their first season back in the major unions last year, sent a clear message that they're not here just to make up the numbers and are planning to stay in top grade for a long time.

Namosi beat Macuata 41-3 and leads the points table in round one.

The Fiji Rugby Union has deferred this weekend's competition to a later date after requests from the unions because of the Easter weekend.

Last Saturday featured the first round of games around the country.

In other results, Suva defeated Northland 31-19, Naitasiri beat Nadi 25-21, Nadroga beat Vatukoula 33-24 and Tailevu defeated Lautoka 9-7.

Meanwhile, overseas Nemani Nadolo scored three tries as the Crusaders trounced the Cheetahs 52-31 while Semi Radradra continued his impressive form for Paramatta Eels in the National Rugby League competition in Australia.

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