Lelean Memorial School makes U19 semi-final

Jope Naseara on attack for Ba Provincial Free Bird Institute against Ratu Sukuna Memorial School during the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League quarter-final at Prince Charles Park in Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Jope Naseara on attack for Ba Provincial Free Bird Institute against Ratu Sukuna Memorial School during the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League quarter-final at Prince Charles Park in Nadi yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

DEFENDING champion Lelean Memorial School is through to the under-19 semi-finals of the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League Vodafone Trophy after edging Ba Provincial Free Bird Institute 6-4 during the quarter-finals at Prince Charles Park in Nadi yesterday.

Ba Provincial led 2-0 at halftime through Taleno Varani’s penalty.

Ragone Rara levelled the scores in the opening minute of the second spell with a successful penalty before Varani landed his second penalty to put Ba Provincial ahead again.

However, Setareki Yabaki’s lone try in the 64th minute made the difference as LMS took out the tight affair.

LMS will feature in the semi-finals of all the three grades after putting up strong performances in the U15 and U17 grades.

Canberra Raiders high performance recruitment manager Peter Mulholland, who witnessed the quarter-finals, was pleased with the talents of the players.

“I’m very impressed,” he said.

“The World Cup was great for the Fiji Bati but I also think it is the Fijian people’s natural love of rugby, whether it is league or union. Fiji secondary schools are doing a wonderful job. They have gone from 31 schools to 72 schools in the competition this year which shows that it is growing.

“I know that the Fiji National Rugby League is keen to make sure that it keeps growing that way. So it is a combined effort.

“In Australia, we need to recognise the fact that these are the best athletes in the islands and the Fijian athletes are the best suited to our game.”

Quarter-final results: U15 RKS 32 AD Patel 0, Vatukaloko 1 Nasinu Secondary 28, Ba Provincial 24 Sila Central 10, LMS 50 Lautoka Central 0; U17 MBHS 18 Ratu Navula 4, Ba Provincial 24 RSMS 10, Nasinu Secondary 20 Ba Methodist 9, Kamil College 17 LMS 34; U19 Ra High 10 MBHS 22, John Wesley 40 Drasa Secondary 0, RKS 38 Vatukaloko 0, Ba Provincial 4 LMS 6.

Semi-final fixtures: U15 RKS-Nasinu Secondary, LMS-Ba Provincial; U17 Nasinu Secondary-LMS, MBHS-Ba Provincial; U19 RKS-MBHS, John Wesley-LMS.

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