Army, Navy to battle in Suva rugby club final showdown
THE 2019 Escott Shield final will be played between the Army and the Navy rugby teams after the two forces proved to be better teams in the semi-final clash at Bidesi Ground yesterday.
The Army side defeated Fire Wardens in the first semi-final 13-10 securing a place in the final.
However the second semi-final was a much anticipated clash between the defending champion Police Blues and the Navy Blues but the naval officers played constructive rugby to beat the men from Nasova 28-14.
Navy drew first blood 15 minutes into the match with a try from winger Alipate Tule and successfully converted by fullback Eparama Senikuraciri for a 7-0 lead.
The naval officers pressured the Police forwards in the scrums, breakdowns and line-outs causing mistakes to the defending champions.
Then the sailors scored another try through Peni Naulago to extend their lead and Senikuraciri kicked the conversion to increase the tally to 14-0 but Police flyhalf Ratu Meli Kurisaru scored just before the break to boost the Police confidence in the second spell.
Navy scored two tries in the second half from halfback Leone Nawai and lock forward Soro Tuifagalele to seal the victory but Police managed to score another converted try but were unfortunate time wasn’t on their side.
Navy team manager Osea Natuva said they expected a strong game and they came prepared.
“We can describe this match as a hard, tough battle but we’re thankful for the win especially with a team such as Police but now we will regroup and focus on our training for the final,” said Natuva.
“Police defeated us in two past finals but we managed to come back stronger this year and we are expecting a tough battle against our Army brothers.”