A RESURRECTED Nadroga team made a strong comeback in the second half to escape a determined and hungry Namosi team during their Skipper Cup clash in Navua yesterday.
Trailing 7-14 at the break, Nadroga's impact players of Flying Fijians such as Setefano Samoca, Peni Ravai, Seremaia Naureure and Iliesa Ratuva rejuvenated Nadroga's traditional open game of rugby which resulted in a narrow 18-17 victory at Thomson Park, maintaining their clean record this season.
Namosi, backed by its vocal supporters, took a commanding 14-0 lead in the opening 30 minutes from tries to winger Waisake Batikado and lock Jo Visei.
Fullback Iona Tuivuna nailed both conversions. Visei's try was much sweeter as it was the towering lock forward's first outing for Namosi.
It was a much improved Namosi side compared to last week's side that lost to Naitasiri.-
Nadroga looked unsettled in the first half, playing against the wind but a try from blind side winger Aporosa Tabulawaki under the crossbar put the defending champions back into the game before halftime. Fullback and policeman Isoa Donaldson nailed the conversion.
The experience of Samoca, Ravai, Ratuva and Naureure injected more power in Nadroga's second half campaign. The lineout was much more effective as Naureure's accurate throws was sadly missed in the opening stanza.
Donaldson further narrowed the deficit in the opening minute of the second half 10-14 via a penalty.
A more bulked and heavy looking Ravai scored Nadroga's second try in the corner to take a point lead 15-14.
Donaldson added another three-pointer when Namosi was penalised for ruck infringement.
Replacement first five eighth Semesa Takirua nailed a penalty for Namosi to settle the score at 17-18.
"I want to thank the boys for the win," Nadroga coach Esala Nauga said.
"We knew it was going to be a tough match playing Namosi at home.
"We wanted to take the game into Namosi's territory from the start but the boys managed to do that in the second half."