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Champions start with a bonus point victory

Maciu Malo
Sunday, May 04, 2014

FIJI rugby's reigning champion Nadroga secured a bonus points 36-15 win over a spirited Tavua outfit in their Skipper Cup competition encounter at Lawaqa Park yesterday.

The Jiuta Lutumailagi-captained side scored six tries to Tavua's three as the Stallions galloped away with two wins out of two games in the competition.

The side displayed champagne rugby with free flowing game that kept Tavua players on the backfoot.

The win has also set the platform for defending champion as they set their eyes on Namosi next weekend.

Laced with many new faces, the Stallions pack played structured rugby dominating the set pieces while the back line were too hot for Tavua to handle.

Rookie fullback Sevanaia Naitoni opened the floodgates for the host to complete a wonderfully-worked backline movement with a try in the 8th minute of play.

But the visitors also had their moments with hardworking openside flanker Meli Vunakece leading the charge for his team.

Vunakece made some crucial turnovers at the breakdown giving his side the much needed possession to capitalise on.

Tavua's hard work was rewarded in the 12th minute of play when the Nadroga forwards were caught offside.

Playmaker Tevita Naroyasi registered the first point for Tavua with a 40m penalty to take the scoreline to 3-5 in favour of the host.

Nadroga flyer Maikeli Toga scored his side' second try before Tavua replied with a try to the hardworking Vunakece.

The host hit back with a try in the dying stages of the first spell to leave the scores 15-10 at halftime in favour of Nadroga.

After a pep talk at halftime by the coaches, the Stallions launched wave of attacks against the opposition to score their bonus points try in the 49th minute of play.

Tavua never gave up as they turned the tables with a try to number 8 Eroni Qasi.

But super subs Emosi Vucago, Isoa Donaldson and Epeli Natuikata ignited fire into the Nadroga attacking force to score two unanswered tries in the third quarter of the game.

Nadroga coach Esala Nauga commended his troops for their effort.

"Many new boys played in this game and I am happy with their performance," he said.

"Tavua gave us a good game and exposed some of the weaknesses in our side.

"There are rooms to improve and we need to work hard in order to defend our title."

Nadroga's Eremasi Radrodro was named the man of the match.





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