REPLACEMENT inside back Vucago Bainitabua kicked a last gasp penalty to earn Lautoka an 8-7 victory against Tavua during the Skipper Cup at Churchill Park yesterday.
Bainitabua broke hearts of the vocal Tavua fans nailing the 25 metre kick in the dying stages.
Bottom placed Lautoka was under pressure going into the fixture after failing to win any matches at home this season.
The Maroons led 5-0 at the break.
Tavua hit back in the second spell and defended gallantly until the 79th minute when lack of discipline cost them dearly.
Lautoka dominated the final quarter, mounting a lot of pressure deep inside Tavua's territory.
However individual play denied the hosts a chance to cross the opposition's line.
Lautoka assistant coach Viliame Satala breathed a sigh of relief as Bainitabua's kick went over.
Satala said they knew Tavua would battle until the final whistle.
"It is a big relief to win today," the former national rep said. "I told the boys that we had to win this match at any cost and the point's difference was not the matter.
"The boys started to play individually in the last 20 minutes. So we need to work hard with our combinations.
"Rugby is not an individual game especially in the forwards. They need to play as a unit."
With the victory Lautoka moves up to 11th position on the points table while Tavua falls back to 12th.
Satala said they need move up a level with only three more matches remaining.
"We have to step up from here because there are big teams waiting for us," he said.
"We will be travelling to Theodore Park next to play Vatukoula. After that we face Nadroga and Nadi. So it is huge task ahead and we will have to take each game as it comes."
Winger Mosese Tugarere scored the try for Lautoka in the 13th minute.
Waisake Gaugau replied for Tavua in the 49th minute and Tevita Naroyasi converted the try.
In another match at Theodore Park, Vatukoula beat Ovalau 32-18.