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Nadi beats Suva

Zanzeer Singh
Sunday, July 20, 2014

FULLBACK Venisemani Ratubalavu nailed six penalties as Nadi survived Suva's second half onslaught to win their Skipper Cup clash 30-27 to maintain a spot in the top four.

The pulsating encounter went down to the wire with the hosts defending gallantly in the dying stages to deny the Capital City team victory.

It was a game of two halves with Nadi dominating the first and Suva showed they were desperate for a wind in the second spell.

The home team shocked the visitors racing away to a 25-0 tally at half time.

Lack of discipline proved to be Suva's downfall as Ratubalavu punished them with his boot.

In the second half it was all Suva as they fired back to unsettle Nadi. With the clock ticking down, referee James Bolabiu awarded Suva a five-metre scrum. Suva spun the ball wide to try and find a breakthrough but lost the ball in contact to the delight of the Nadi fans.

Suva managed to secure two bonus points for scoring four tries and losing within seven points to their opponents.

Nadi coach Ilieasa Tanivula said it was a heart-stopping game and he did not expect the team to be up by 25 points in the first half.

"I thought we had them in the first half but Suva had the experience and got back in the second half and nearly pulled it off," he said.

"Credit to our guys for holding on. A win is a win and we will take that.

"We were desperate in defence in the dying stages.

"We defended well in the first half but in the second half we lost shape. I did not believe that we would be up by that many points at half- time.

"We thought it would be tough from the start. We got the opportunities and scored the points. We went into relax mode after the break and Suva nearly got us. All the boys performed well against an experienced team."

Suva coach Salimoni Ravouvou said he had faith in the boys to bounce back after a big deficit.

"We missed our chances in the first half but the two bonus points are vital."

Kavekini Varo and Viliame Ratute scored a try each for Nadi. Ratubalavu kicked a conversion.

Jerry Tokamalua scored two tries for Suva while Sitiveni Kunaga and Waisale Vatuvoka scored one each. Emosi Mulivoro kicked two conversions and a penalty.

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