22 November, 2020, 3:38 pm
A dominant Navy side reclaimed lost glory beating Police Blue 24-17 in the final to win the prestigious Digicel Escott Shield at Albert Park, Suva.
Fresh’et Navy captain Lemeki Damu said it was a sweet victory after being in the final for the past two years and coming second best.
“We fell short in the final the last two years, but this year we knew from the beginning we were taking the Escott Shield back with us,” Damu said.
“Police took the shield from us in 2018 and to reclaim the trophy today and win against them in the final makes the win memorable.”
Police skipper Ratu Meli Kurisaru was humble in defeat and thanked his comrades for a hard fought game. “We did our best, but at the end of the day there can only be one winner, I thank my boys for a hard fought game and congratulations to Navy for the win.”
There was no love lost between the two sides both laced with players from the Skipper Cup winning Suva team.
Navy went to the break at half time with a slight 10-9 lead after a lone try from prop forward Mateo Qolisese with fly half Jone Manu adding the conversion and an earlier penalty.
Police’s first half points came from half back Terio Tamani nailing three successful penalties. The Navy scrum was in devastating form all game long.
Police conceded a penalty try at the onset of the second half as the Police scrum failed to hold the powerful sailors.
Tamani looked to keep his side in the game with another penalty bringing the law enforcers to within five points.
But the icing on the cake came from Manu who put in a clever cross-kick to find openside winger Malakai Vakalawa who crashed over the line for the clincher with Manu converting.
Police scored a consolation unconverted try at the death but it was to no avail.
Police Blue line-up: 1. Savenaca Ualuvu 2. Lino Vasuinadi 3. Isikeli Lumelume 4. Tevita Boseiwaqa 5. Timoci Nakalevu 6. Josefa Talacolo 7. Suliano Volivoli 8. James Brown 9. Terio Tamani 10. Meli Kurisaru 11. Keponi Paul 12. Timoci Ratulolo 13. Watisoni Sevutia 14. Filipe Sauturaga 15. Wasake Ravuiwasa 16. Emosi Saladuadua 17. Fifita Toma 18. Aminio Kuribau 19. Orisi Tukana 20. Manu Laqai 21. Sefanaia Seviua 22. Epeli Misiamate 23. Tanoa Ravonu