9 July, 2017, 12:00 am
FLYHALF Peceli Nacebe steered BLK Nadoga into the final of the Skipper Cup after beating Suva 35-12 in the semi-final at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday.
Nacebe, from Mavua Village on the east bank of the Sigatoka River scored a brilliant second half try, kicked two penalties and a conversion for a personal tally of 13 points.
Nadroga, the defending champions, made a flying start taking control of the match following former captain Setefano Samoca’s try in the third minute.
However indiscipline kept Suva in the game with the precise boots of Mosese Tikoduadua ticking his side’s tally over.
Nadroga with the vocal home support held off the visitors’ challenge leading 18-9 at halftime and then regathered to douse their fire even with captain Manoa Tamaya and replacement Penijamini Makutu simultaneously spending time in the sinbin in the final quarter.
Samoca said the victory ended a joyous week with technical adviser Franck Boivert and coach Esala Nauga both celebrating their birthdays.
Samoca said the focus was on beating Suva.
“It was a team effort throughout the 80 minutes,” he said.
“We knew Suva would come out hard. The win is dedicated to our coach Esala Nauga and Franck Boivert who are celebrating their birthdays.”
Samoca dotted down the opening try in the third minute.
Nacebe extended Nadroga’s lead with a penalty five minutes later. Tikoduadua put Suva on the board in the 12th minute. Nacebe kicked over his second penalty in the 15th minute while Tikoduadua struck with his boot in the 25th and 26th minutes.
Alivereti Bure scored Nadroga’s second try in the 28th minute. Suva resumed the second spell with Tikoduadua’s fourth successful penalty kick.
Nacebe scored a try moments later and from then Suva lost the plot especially in the last 20 minutes.
Sailosi Dawai and Aporosa Tabulawaki scored in quick succession to seal Nadroga’s victory.
Suva coach Saiasi Fuli said it was a bad day for his side.
“It is unfortunate that we did not function today,” he said.
“We played against a better team. Nadroga played with a lot of firepower to win.
“We lost a lot of composure during the game and it is a learning experience. We trained very well and we thought that we were up for the game but we just lost the momentum.”