Nadroga thumps Northland in provincial rugby

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BLK Nadroga returned to winning ways getting its first win in the Skipper Cup beating Northland 40-13 yesterday at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.

Nadroga ran out winners outscoring Northland six tries to one.

“This was an important win for us in regards to the standings,” said returning Nadroga halfback and former Fiji 7s player Emosi Vucago.

“We are thankful for the win and we thank Northland for a great game.”

Vucago said the victory was also dedicated to their late trainer Nimilote Dau who passed away recently.

“This win is for him and his family.”

Northland struck immediately just three minutes in when Northland flyhalf Josua Yavala put up a high ball which was left to bounce by the Nadroga back three.

The spill bounced awkwardly for veteran fullback Apisalome Waqatabu for Yavala to regain and race away under the sticks and adding the extras for the first points of the game.

Nadroga was penalised in the 11th minute for an infringement in the rucks.

Yavala widened the gap with a successful 45-metre penalty from midfield. Nadroga began to slowly string a number of phases together edging towards the Northland 22 metre.

But, in the 17th minute of play Northland forwards were caught offside to give Waqatabu his first shot at goal and Nadroga’s first points in a high tempo match.

The Nadroga machine began to open up playing the strong game they are known for and in the 24th minute an overlap saw outside centre and former Fiji 7s player Joeli Lutumailagi beat his opposite number to go over for their first try with the conversion by Waqatabu unsuccessful.

Nadroga scored their second again as Lutumailagi found a gap in the blue line and quick hands found another veteran in Vucago to dive over in the corner with the conversion unsuccessful.

In the 39th minute Yavala equalised with another penalty, Nadroga had the final say of the half with Waqatabu slotting a 50 metre penalty to take both teams to the break with Nadroga in front 16-13.

Nadroga lifted the momentum as their signature open play and continuous off-load saw them score two tries from substitute inside centre Savenaca Nakalevu and Tovilevu and openside wing Pio Mua with Waqatabu adding one conversion.

Pressure mounted for Northland in the 55th minute as a collapsed pushover scrum on their own tryline resulted in a penalty try and further widening the lead.

Tensions began to flare resulting in two red cards dished out for Nadroga skipper Aca Simolo and Northland outside centre Kilioni Sisiwa.

Lutumailagi got his second try and the last say in the 72nd minute with Waqatabu missing the conversion to end the match 40-13.

Nadroga: 1. Tomasi Lotawa 2. Jonetani Kunavula 3. Taniela Vatunicoko 4. Iosefo Tania 5. Rusiate Nasove 6. Eremasi Radrodro 7. Ratu Sakiusa Bekwahiga 8. Aca Simolo (captain) 9. Emosi Vucago 10. Josese Kurokavu 11. Viliame Bolalailai 12. Sakiusa Nakalevu 13. Joeli Lutumailagi 14. Pio Mua 15. Apisalome Waqatabu 16. Ratunaisa Navuma 17. Timoci Sauvoli 18. Setefano Somoca 19. Sailosi Dawai 20. Jone Navori 21. Joseva Kuricuva 22. Ifereimi Tovilevu 23. Malakai Nacebe

Northland 1.Fifita Toma 2. Luke Volavola 3. Inoke Ravuiwasa 4. Eparama Sucumainalawa 5. Ratu Emori Logavatu 6. Sakeasi Kaitoga 7. Isaia Naqicatabua 8. Filimoni Malarua (captain) 9. Simione Ratabacaca 10. Josua Yavala 11. Pita Tamanivalu 12. Atunaisa Turagaiviu 13. Kilioni Sisiwa 14. Marika Tuiverata 15. Vito Wairakia 16. Lemeki Tuyawa 17. Kiniviliame Navouvou 18. Gauna Bogivitu 19. Inosi Turagalailai 20. Viliame Leva 21. Sailasa Vasua 22. Alifereti Mocelutu 23. Uraia Torau

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