Hillmen defend rugby title

Naitasiri outside centre Filimoni Waqainabete pushes his way through the Northland defence during their Inkk Mobile Farebrother trophy clash at Ratu Cakobau park in Nausori . The side once again successfully defended the trophy against Northland 10-6. Picture: ATU RASEA

Naitasiri once again successfully defended the Innk Mobile Farebrother Trophy against Northland 10-6 at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori yesterday.

Both teams were tied 3-all in the first half with a penalty each coming from high tackles.

Naitasiri coach Ilaitia Tuisese gave credit to Northland players for the tough match they gave his team. Both teams were strong upfront and battled hard until the last whistle.

Tuisese said both teams were trained to win and Northland came in with a mindset of taking the trophy away from them.

“For us, it was in the few last minutes that we came out strong,” he said.

“Our performance was not up to par despite coming back from our game against Nadi last week. That game took a lot from us where we discussed some of our mistakes.”

Both teams had discipline issues with Naitasiri having two yellow cards and Northland copping a red and yellow card. Northland manager Banuve Dretiverata said it was unfortunate that two cards were given to them.

“As expected it is always a tough game when you play against Naitaisiri. Hats off to the boys. Watching them play, we’ve seen how they’ve progressed. We have a very young side and they have shown their talent.

“Discipline wise, we need to work on our tackle and defence.”

Naitasiri’s Tomasi Naiduki and Marika Natau were shown yellow cards for high tackles. Northland was given a red card to Osaia Seru for a dangerous tackle.

Naitasiri’s Sitiveni Kaila scored the only try which was converted by Kini Douglas. Northland will take on Tailevu next week while Naitasiri will be looking forward to two more challenges against Nadi and Tailevu.

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