Jetsetters upset Naitasiri at home

Veniona Toga, top, of Jack's Nadi caried by teammates against QAQA Naitasiri during the first Farebrother Trophy Challenge match at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori on Saturday, June 29, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The coveted Farebrother trophy is now at its new home in Nadi after Jack’s Nadi overcame title holders Naitasiri 14-10 in a close encounter during the opening 2019 Farebrother Cup challenge match at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori yesterday.

Nadi coach Ponijese Lutudina was lost for words when the final whistle blew ending the game. “On paper we couldn’t beat them,” Lutudina said.

“We played to our strengths and our boys delivered,” Nadi went one over Naitasiri this time around last challenging for the rugby silverware four years ago.

Naitasiri looked to establish control early with number eight Inoke Tuisese crashing over for the their first points after multiple phases nine minutes in with flyhalf Kini Douglas converting.

Naitasiri looked set to run away with a second try when a floated pass from Douglas was intercepted by Nadi outside centre Aminio Naseyara to race away for a 40-metre try untouched.

Nadi flyhalf Kavekini Varo adding the two points from right in front.

Both teams headed to the tunnel locked at seven-all.

Tension flared in the second spell as both teams jostled for the upper hand.

Douglas furthered the gap with a penalty kick 30 metres from the pavilion side of Cakobau Park.

But the turn in the tide came midway in the second half when a lapse of concentration showed a chink in the Naitasiri armour which had been strong all game long.

Impact players of the Nadi bench showed a timely inclusion with Fiji Warriors star Tuidraki Samusamuvodre breaking away from midway only to be bought down five metres from the line.

The Nadi pack quickly secured the ball to Varo who with a precise crosskick found open-side wing Jiutasa Nave who reclaimed the highball and crashed over for the winner with Varo converting from the corner.

Jack’s Nadi will defend the Farebrother trophy next week against BLK Nadroga.

Jack’s Nadi lineup:

1. Ron Katonivere 2. Aseri Buli 3. Joseva Nadolo 4. Inoke Tavutu 5. Peni Naruma 6. Jolame Levuvou 7. Naulia Dawai 8. Veniona Toga 9. Marika Tivitivi 10. Kavekini Varo 11. Tevita Mociu 12. Vilive Aria 13. Aminio Naseyara 14. Jiutasa Nave 15. Samisoni Viriviri 16. Viliame Tui 17. Kenneth Delai 18. Simione Tora 19. Samuela Saqiwa 20. Ilisoni Galala 21. Navitalai Tuilawa 22. Epeli Saukuru 23. Tuidraki Samusamuvodre

Naitasiri lineup:

1. Joe Veitayaki 2. Jerry Naureure 3. Mosese Ducivaki 4. Necani Nawaqadau 5. Esikia Macu 6. Vetaia Tiko 7. Tomasi Naiduki 8. Inoke Tuisese 9. Frank Lomani 10. Kini Douglas 11. Sesoni Vinakaeloma 12. Tomasi Vula 13. Sakeo Raloa 14. Emosi Vunivosa 15. Semi Koroi 16. Jone Naqiri 17. Solo Navuso 18. Tubale Moceotuba 19. Joseva Tawake 20. Sireli Kaloucava 21. Romulo Delai 22. Onisimo Dakainikoro 23. Paula Tiko

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