Dramatic Tiebreak Sends QVS to Vodafone Deans Trophy Final

Rt Semisi Turaganivalu missed a crucial kick as Suva Grammar suffered an agonising Vodafone Deans Trophy exit to Queen Victoria School after a game of two halves in the first Under-18 semifinal at the HFC Stadium today.

Trailing 3-14 at halftime, Suva Grammar rallied in the second half, aided by Ratu Semisi Turaganivalu’s accurate penalty kicks, which brought them within five points. A late try by Ratu Semisi Caginivalu leveled the scores, leaving the game hinging on Turaganivalu’s conversion attempt. Despite his prior kicking success, the inside centre could not secure the crucial points, resulting in a dramatic 14-all tie, and QVS awarded the win having scored the first try in the encounter.

Despite being awarded the victory, QVS left the match contemplating their performance. All their points were secured in the first half.

Assistant coach, Meli Kalou, shared his emotions as Turaganivalu was lining up to take the conversion, acknowledging the uncertainty of the outcome.

“I can’t really express those feelings, because no one knew what was going to happen, we are just thankful to the almighty for giving us the win,” Kalou said.

He commended Suva Grammar for providing a challenging match and revealing areas for improvement.

“But that is what we have achieved and we are grateful for the win today. We started well, but we didn’t finish well,” Kalou said. “Hats off to Grammar, they did a thorough analysis of the game, knowing where to pin us down and when to pin us down. They gave us a good game, and gave us a good indication of where we are.”

QVS fly-half Anare Tabakaucoro scored the opening try just 7 minutes into the game. Mikaele Vueti followed up with a successful conversion, to put them ahead 7-0. The momentum continued to favor QVS as Meli Waqairadovu scored another try at the 12-minute mark, which Vueti once again converted, extending their lead to 14-0.

Undeterred by the early setback, SGS responded with a penalty goal by Turaganivalu in the 22nd minute, putting SGS on the scoreboard, the score 14-3 into the breather.

SGS continued to push forward in the second half, with Turaganivalu successfully converting two penalty goals, narrowing the gap 14-9.

The momentum shifted further in SGS’s favor as Caganivalu managed to break through QVS’s defense and score a try after the buzzer sounded. Having missed the ensuing conversion, and the scoreboard reading 14-14, QVS was declared the victor due to their advantage of having scored the first try of the match.

QVS advances to face Natabua after Natabua’s 29-20 victory over reigning champions Marist in the other semi-finals.

Vodafone Deans U18 SemiFinal 1
Saturday, 19 August 2023
QVS 14-14 Suva Grammar
: 14-3
HFC Stadium, Suva

QVS (1-15): Joseph Caginitabale, Mitieli Tola, Josese Tawake, Josaia Tuinabouwaqa, Inia Naqia, Edwin Lal, Rt Isireli Rokovailavo, Alipate Ratunagusu, Meli Waqairadovu, Anare Tabakaucoro, Kameli Raivalu, Maikeli Tirikula, Josefa Ubitau, Avakuki Niusalelekitoga, Mikaele Vueti
Reserves: Apaitia Waqavou, Mikaele Nakaora, Akariva Kila, Letasio Codro, Anare Wakawaka, Ponipate Vasu, Vilisoni Brown, Semesa Vosaicake, Moape Racaca, Mosese Lekutu
Tries: Tabakaucoro, Waqairadovu; Conversions: Vueti (2)

Suva Grammar (1-15): Saula Botitu, Emoni Sereki, Jeremaia Vukivanua, Rt Jovesa Raivalita, Josese Rayawa, Josefa Gavifi, Sonny Turagabeci, Rt Ian Baledrokadroka, Jeremiah Ravatu, Matereti Kanaveilomani, John Hottes, Rt Semisi Turaganivalu, Semi Jnr, Rt Semesa Caginivalu, Rt Tevita Sovalevu
Reserves: Seseoni Tamani, Abraham Wainiu, Phil Qativi, Robert Susau, Rt Emori Qareqare, Viliame Gaunavinaka, Rt Alipate Tabusakia, Viliame Baleivanualala, Maika Nalawa, Sunia Qera
Try: Semesa Caginivalu; PEN GOALS: Turaganivalu (3)

Vodafone Deans Trophy Semifinals Results So Far:
U14: Marist 26-15 RKS (HT: 15-5), Lelean 0-19 Suva Grammar (HT: 0-12)
U15: Suva Grammar 14-17 RKS (HT: 7-12), QVS 0-24 Marist (HT: 0-15)
U16: Natabua 10-18 RKS (HT: 10-8), Marist 7-19 QVS
U17: MBHS 8-25 RKS (HT: 5-10), MGM High 15-11 (HT: 10-3)
U18: SGS 14-14 QVS (QVS Wins Having Scored First Try)
U19: RKS 22-3 Lomary, QVS 15-12 Lelean

Weet-Bix Raluve Championship
U16: ACS 12-15 Naitasiri Secondary (HT: 12-5), Sigatoka Methodist 31-7 Lelean
U18: MGM 13-5 Jasper Williams (HT: 10-5), Naitasiri 3-19 Dawasamu

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