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Northland scores bonus point victory in Lautoka

Maciu Malo
Monday, June 23, 2014

NORTHLAND secured a 27-20 bonus-point win against a young Lautoka side in the Skipper Cup game at Lautoka's Churchill Park on Saturday.

The Watisoni Ratulevu-coached side broke the hearts of the home fans scoring four tries to Lautoka's one.

Northland played structured rugby and dominated the set pieces contributing to their win.

Led by former Flying Fijians hooker Sireli Ledua the visitors were aggressive in defence and ruthless in attack enabling them to secure their fourth win out of seven games.

The evergreen hooker showed his experience and strength when he shrugged off his opponent to score the first try of the game in the fifth minute of play.

But the home side bounced back to register its first points through Vucago Bainitabua's penalty in the 15th minute.

The visitors further increased their lead through Tikilati Vuibau's boot before their hard working forwards were rewarded with a penalty try in the 29th minute.

Lautoka winger Alipate Ciba crossed over for his team's first try before Northland hard running centre Sitiveni Turagaiviu hit back with another magnificent try for Northland.

Bainitabua increased Lautoka's tally to 14 points from a penalty as Northland headed to the break with a slender 22-14 lead.

Lautoka started the second spell with a bang scoring six points through Bainitabua's boot.

But a lapse of concentration in the latter stages of the game enabled the visitors to score their bonus point try to win the game.

Northland coach Watisoni Ratulevu commended his troops for their effort.

He said his players gave their best against a tough Lautoka outfit.

Ratulevu said there was a huge improvement needed in the side despite the win.

"A win is a win and I thank the boys for their effort," he said.

"But again there are still room for improvements and we are hoping to improve in our next game."

Lautoka mentor Niko Qoro said he was satisfied with the performance of the players despite the loss.

"Unfortunately we have lost the game but frankly the boys have improved from their last game," he said.

"We anticipate a good outing in our next game."

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