A LATE second half surge helped Wardens East successfully defend the Ro Matanitobua Tanoa Challenge against Police 33-15 during the Namosi Rugby Union club competition at Thomson Park in Navua yesterday.
Trailing 8-15 at the break, Wardens displayed a strong second half performance, scoring 25 unanswered points to retain the title in its first defence.
After wresting the Tanoa away from Wardens South last week, the Wardens East side was forced to work extra hard in the second spell by a strong and determined Police team.
Namosi Rugby Union secretary Navitalai Naivalurua said it was a tough encounter.
"Wardens East successfully defended their title," he said.
"It's their first defence and they defended the Tanoa against a very strong team in the competition."
Wardens East had former national sevens reps such as Sailosi Naiteqe and Peni Rokodiva Jr who played halfback.
Former Naitasiri provincial player Silivenusi Gavidi and regular Wardens Gold sevens player Jone Naucubalavu also featured for the defending champions.
Naivalurua said Police made a good start in the opening half.
"It was a game of two halves, where Police dominated the game in the first half and then Wardens bounced back in the second half."
He said the club competition had progressed well ever since it started a few weeks ago.
Namosi last year joined the Major Union competition after winning the B Division competition the previous year.