FORMER national 7s rep Jiuta Takubu played an outstanding game at the back of the scrum for the champion Gaunavou in their 25-11 win over the Moala-based Tovolea side at Nadi Prince Charles Park yesterday.
The livewire looseman led his side to successfully defend the KK'S Hardware Challenge Shield for a second successive week and stamped its dominance in the Nadi Rugby Union club competition.
Takubu's brilliance was displayed in the third quarter of the game when he bulldozed his way past two defenders to score his team's fourth try.
Ably supported by his Nadi teammate and flanker Kelepi Ketedromo, the Gaunavou side was rock solid in defence denying Tovolea from winning the title.
Nadi flyer Vilikesa Driu was the standout player in the backs for Gaunavou breaking the first line of defence with ball in hands.
Tovolea players did their best to contain the reigning champion but to no avail.
However, a lapse of concentration by Gaunavou in the last minutes of the game enabled Tovolea to score its only try of the game.
Gaunavou coach Jo Tora commended his players for their effort.
He said the hunger to win inspired his troops to defend the title.
"I am happy with the win and I thank the players for their performance," said Tora.
"Tovolea gave us a good battle but it was the determination of the boys that enabled us to defend the title.
"There are still room for improvements before we prepare for the next challenge."
Other results: Nawaka Development22-3 Dratabu Green, Gaunavou Development 19-8 Sabeto Develiopment, Saunivala 15-15 Yavusania, Dratabu White 19-25 Army, Sabeto 15-10 Nawaka, Marine 13-7 Korobebe, Saunaka WBD over Korovuto, Nabau 8-7 Saioni, Airport 13-18 Dratabu Green, Vaturu 6 -16 Vaturu Gold, Abbi 13-13 Aviation Fire