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Aviators win inter zone opener, down Crusaders

Zanzeer Singh
Sunday, August 13, 2017

THE Nadi Aviators made a bright start to its Vodafone-sponsored Fiji National Rugby League Inter Zone competition after winning all the category matches against Lautoka Crusaders in round one of competition at Churchill Park yesterday.

The Aviators beat Crusaders 24-12 in the women's category, 18-10 in the under-20 category and 20-16 in the premier category.

Defending the premier title, the Aviators were on fire from the opening spell against the Crusaders racing away to a 16-0 lead at the break.

A pep talk by coach Peni Tubakibau ignited the home team in the second spell but it was too little too late as they fell short.

The Aviators opened the scoring in the third minute after Jona Varomusu's penalty. Rusiate Waqa scored the first try in the 8th minute.

Eremodo Tuni scored the second try in the 14th minute which was converted. Etuate Guvalu scored the third try to give the Aviators a handy lead at the break.

Savenaca Buresova got the Crusaders on the score board with a penalty in the 52nd minute.

Vereti Bukavesi scored fourth try for the Aviators in the 59th minute. Thereafter the Crusaders took control scoring three tries but it was not enough to down the Aviators.

Nadi Aviators president Joe Gray said they were happy with the results but could have done better.

"We are pleased with the outcome to achieve phase one of our mission by winning all our three games," Gray said.

"But there is still a lot to do. We expected to do better so now we will go back to the drawing board and ensure that outcome in round two is more impressive.

"We have Sabeto Roosters and Ravoravo Rabbitohs have just come out of the Vodafone Cup premier final and that is why the players were not committed to training.

"Now that the club games are all over we hope that the players will show up at training so we can produce a more dynamic team.

Crusaders coach Peni Tubakibau said they fielded a make shift team.

He said they managed to assemble a squad in the past two days.

"The attendance was very poor at training," Tubakibau said.

"We just had several players showing up. All the boys did not train together as a unit."

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