UPRISING Northland stunned Islands Electric Lautoka 30-26 in the second round of the Digicel Cup competition at Lautoka's Churchill Park yesterday.
Super boot Josevata Bola was the toast for the Tailevu North warriors when he dissected the uprights with a 22-metre penalty in the late stages of the second spell to seal the game with a win contributing to his personal tally of 12 points.
Laced with many new faces, the visitors were hungry for a win throwing their bodies on the line against a much heavier and experienced Maroons outfit.
Under the guidance of former Flying Fijians coach Ilivasi Tabua, Northland stood their ground well in defence, withstanding the strong onslaught from the sugar city boys.
Nippy halfback Inia Saravanua, who was heavily marked by his opposition, was a perfect link for his team making some breaking runs that caught the Maroons backpedalling.
Tabua said the side entered the field with a willing heart and confident of their chances and commended his troops for their toiling the hard yards against Lautoka which has star players like Kelemedi Bola, Waisale Vatuvoka, Mitieli Kalo, Watisoni Votu, Apakuki Vuaviri, hitting number 8 Nemia Soqeta and Nadroga import Jerry Tuilevu.
"The boys were hungry for a win and they stood their ground well in defence," the Naivicula native said.
"It was a very physical battle and I thank the players for not stepping backwards as they were eager to match their opponents.
"This is a very young bunch of boys with the exception of five or six experienced players.
"But again there is still room for improvement and we need to move up a notch in our next game."
The Maroons on the other hand have themselves to be blamed for the loss after failing to make use of the possession they had.
The backline were starved off possession and their forwards wanted to show their supremacy over their younger opponents.
Indiscipline was another key factor for Lautoka's fall at home with late and high tackles made against their opposition. Lautoka gave away easy penalties that saw Nothland gain crucial points.
Lautoka mentor Sireli Bulicokocoko admitted indiscipline was one of their downfall that saw the team playing with 14-man after flyhalf Sekonaia Koroilagilagi was sinbinned for a late hit on Saravanua in the second spell.
"We let ourselves down, we dominated possession but we failed to turn possession into points. Our backline was denied possession as they did't get quality balls to showcase their talent."
Both teams scored two tries in the first spell with Bola making the difference through his boots as Northland led 17-12.
Vatuvoka scored the first points in the second spell with a solo effort converted by Koroilagilagi that saw the host lead 19-17 before Bola increased Northland's tally to 20 with a 39-metre penalty.
Former national 7s rep William Saukuru scored another classic try for Northland as they changed lead once again before Soqeta added his name to the scoring list with a try in the last quarter before Bola sealed the game with a penality that sees Lautoka remain winless against Northland for two years.