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Maciu Malo
Sunday, August 10, 2014

BLK Nadroga super sub Mitieli Nacagilevu featured strongly for the defending champion to help his teammates thump Suva 40-22 in the Skipper Tuna semi-final held at Lawaqa Park yesterday.

The former national 7s playmaker who miraculously recovered from a neck injury two years ago was in top form for the Stallions.

Nacagilevu who replaced field general Jiuta Lutumailagi in the second spell sparked the Nadroga attack force scoring a solo-effort try in the last quarter to break the hearts of the Suva fans.

The Nakalavo native also showcased his strength and pace when he sliced through the opposition inside Nadroga's 22m.

Nacagilevu raced away 50m and delivered the ball to his second five Eroni Vasiteri who then sent the flying Aporosa Tabulawaki to the try line.

His performance has sent a strong warning that the Stallions will be the team to watch in the Skipper Tuna final.

The Rupeni Nasiga-captained side outsmarted their opponents in all facets of the game to maintain their winning run in the competition.

Nasiga was ably supported by Iliesa Ratuva, Manoa Tamaya, Apisai Domolailai, Setefano Samoca and livewire prop Peni Ravai to deny the visitors the win.

The Flying Fijians forward said the win was special to the people of Nadroga and thanked his teammates for their effort.

He said the side stood tall in defence against an experienced Suva forward to maintain their unbeaten run.

Nasiga, however, stated there are still rooms for improvements before they played the winner of the Nadi and Naitasiri game in the final.

"Teamwork and commitment enabled us to win this game," he said.

"We still need improvements in some areas of our game before the final."

Suva coach, Salimoni Ravouvou admitted, the side lost to a quality side.

"Our boys tried their best but we lost to a quality side," he said.

Suva started the game on a high note putting pressure on Nadroga and dominated possession in the first 10 minutes of the game.

But rock solid defence of the host team denied the Capital City boys to turn possession into points.

Lutumailagi registered the first point through a penalty before skipper Nasiga increased his team's tally with a try three minutes later.

Nadroga continued the momentum launching waves of attack before flyer Samuela Cava completed a wonderfully worked move to score the team's second try in the 24th minutes of play.

Inside centre Eroni Vasiteri scored Nadroga's third try from a turnover before Lutumailagi added the extras leaving the halftime scores at 20-0 in favour of the Stallions.

Nadroga hit back strongly in the second spell putting pressure on the Suva defence into errors.

Renowned for its free flowing and running game, Stallions was a handful for the opposition.

Halfback Samu Laqai registered his name on the score sheet in the 44th minute of play before the visitors hit back with a try to flanker Jolame Bera.

Fullback Jone Mai increased his team tally with a penalty in the 15th minute before Nacagilevu returned the favour with a penalty in the 59th minute.

The Stallions hit back at the restart with a magnificent try to Aporosa Tabulawaki after a break by Nacagilevu.

Nacagilevu again busted through his opposition to score a brilliant try for his team.

Kurisaru increased his team's tally to 40-10.

Suva forwards forced the Stallions on the back foot to win a penalty try before replacement centre Necani Wakaya scored a consolation try in the dying stages of the game

Nadroga: Peni Ravai, Seremaia Naureure, Setefano Somoca, Rupeni Nasiga, Manoa Tamaya, Epeli Natuikata, Apisai Domolailai, Iliesa Ratuva, Samu Laqai, Jiuta Lutumailagi, Samu Cava, Eroni Vasiteri, Save Rawaca, Aporosa Tabualawaki, Ratu Meli Kurisaru. Reserves: Iliesa Leca, Eneri Lotawa, Alifereti Cawanibuka, Apisai Moimoi, Sailosi Rabo, Etonia Bula, Ratu Naisa Narukutabua, Miteli Nacagilevu.

Suva. Vesi Rarawa, Viliame Veikoso (C), Manasa Saulo, Viliame Sigamasi, Joseva Tanikorolevu,Mosese Saunivanua, Jolame Bera, Sikeli Nasilasila,Nemani Vecenayawa, Sireli Naoba, Maikeli Mocetadra, Jone Saukuru, John Stewart, Peni Vaciloa, Jone Wai Reserves: Waisea Daveta, Jerry Tokamalua, Jo Veitayaki, Netani Vora, Semesa Gonevou, Ledua Mucunabitu, Taione Ravuidama, Necani Wakaya

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