Naikore tries to mark return in Super W
2 April, 2023, 12:03 pm
Sensational winger Vitalina Naikore marked her return to the Super W competition against the touring Melbourne Rebels side at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva yesterday.
The Fiji Corrections Service officer was back in the Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua colours and got straight into work with two tries in the fifth and 10th minutes.
The former Fiji soccer player tallied 14 points which included two conversions in their 39-12 win yesterday.
“I want to thank the Lord for the win,” Naikore said after receiving the best player award.
“I want help the team that is why I want to score as many tries as possible but the fans were really behind us.”
Centre Vani Arei played a key role in Naikore’s two tries.
The Drua continued to build phases and had flyhalf Ani Mei over for their third try in the 20th minute with Naikore converting.
Arei was one of the stand out players as she crossed over for the host team’s bonus point try with 33 minutes gone.
Nadroga winger Adita Milinia crossed over for their fifth try at the stroke of half-time with Naikore’s conversion for a 29-0 lead.
The Fijiana Drua took things another notch in the second half when Arei crossed over for her second in the 48th minute.
The forwards played well and were rewarded with a try to hooker Litia Marama for their seventh try in the 57th minute.
The Rebels through Fijian reserve prop Laiema Bosenavulagi crashed over to score their first try which inside centre Harmony Vatau failed to add the two points.
Fijian Drua replacement prop Siteri Rasolea received a yellow card mid-way in the second half and the Rebels used the numerical advantage as winger Mia-Rae Clifford dotted the balland converted her own try with seven minutes left to play.
The visitors kept attacking the line in the dying minutes of the game but the Bitila Tawake-led side defended their line well.
Bitila Tawake (c), Litia Marama, Ana Korobata, Jade Coates, Doreen Narokete, Nunia Uluikadavu, Sulita Waisega, Karalaini Naisewa, Setaita Railumu, Ani Mei Likuvaqali, Vitalina Niakore, Merewai Cumu, Vani Arei, Milinia Adita, Lavenia Tinai.
Keleni Marawa, Joma Rubiti, Siteri Rasolea, Merevesi Ofakimalino, Asinate Serevi, Livia Naidei, Wainikiti Vosadrau, Alycia Namosimalua
Janita Kareta, Ashley Marsters (c), Jiowanna Sauto, Michaela Maunsell, Rachel Rakatau, Naila Faaiuaso, Ariana Perez, Utumalefata To’omalatai, Faalua Tugaga, Chanelle Kohika Skipper, Kerri Johnson, Harmony Vatau, Hope Schuster, Karin Kusano, Jade Te Aute
Hope Kareta, Vika Mararugu, Laeima Bosenavulagi, Nuala O’Connor, Tanya Yabaki, Sheniqua Tabula, Wasie Toolis, Mia-Rae Clifford