St Mary’s drown Silktails at home

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Meli Nasau in control for Kaviti Silktails against St Mary’s during their rugby league clash at Churchill Park ground 3 in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Kaiviti Silktails suffered their first loss at home in the Ron Massey Cup competition this season after going down to table leaders St Mary’s at Churchill Park ground three in Lautoka yesterday.

The Silktails, playing in wet conditions, were restricted from throwing the ball around and displaying the Fijian flair of rugby. St Mary’s winger Jake Tago went over the line early in the game through a smart-play.

The Silktails replied with a try through Ratu Jilivecevece. As the game went on, St Mary’s looked the better of the two teams, adapting to the pace of the game as Tago got his double in the 17th minute. St Mary’s led Silktails 8-6 at half-time.

The Western-Sydney based side came out firing in the second half with Tago getting his hat trick in the 55th minute.

The St Mary’s continued to pile pressure in the Silktails and were rewarded with a try from David Fale. The Silktails got a consolation try, 8 minutes from full-time through Sefanaia Bola.

The match referee awarded St Mary’s with a penalty which was converted by Todd Sapienza late in the match with St Mary’s sealing their victory on Fijian soil by 22-12.

St Mary’s coach Darren Baker said they knew it would be tough against the Silktails as they had a 100 per cent win record in the home games this season.

“Under these conditions, it was obviously very tough and all credit goes to the Silktails, they stuck to us but we managed to get away with a win,” he said.

Baker said the message to the boys at half-time was to be patient with the ball and when tackling-engage in duel contacts only.

“We are a professional group and adapted to the conditions because we are undefeated for a reason this season and the boys know exactly what to put up with under these sort of conditions.”

Silktails head coach Wes Naiqama said the ground conditions did not allow both teams to throw the ball around.

“It was a really physical battle and the game was played in the middle of the field,” he said.

Naiqama praised his forward pack and he believed they dominated a strong St Mary’s pack in large scratches of the game.

“Probably the disappointing thing was that we went too slow with the ball in hand and turned over the ball at wrong parts of the field.

“Despite the loss, I know the effort and willingness is always there from the boys and week after week, I cannot question the guts and commitments from them. It is just our execution that we have to get it right.”

He said the team would take a lot of learnings from the game and would get better.

Teams:

Silktails (1-13) Timoci Bola, Emosi Daubito, Simione Cakauniqio, Tomasi Seru, Ratu Jilivecevece, Sirilo Lovokuro, Meli Nasau, Manoa Vilikesa, Sefanaia Bola, Ratu Tabusakia, Jonathan Roseman, Ponipate Komai, Sunia Naruma.

St Mary’s (1-13) Sadee Sublaban, Jake Tago, Tony Satini, David Fale, Christian Chrichton, Todd Sapienza, Hayden Bonanno, Hanna El-Nachar, Reece Goldsmith, Viliami Pupu, Steven Tavita, Joe Vaegaau, Jake Butfield.

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