In a nail-biting encounter that had supporters on the edge of their seats, MGM denied QVS 15-11 in the second U17 semifinal, securing their spot in the grand finals to face Ratu Kadavulevu School in what promises to be another exciting showdown next week.
The victory solidifies MGM’s memorable debut season, making upcoming rival RKS cautious. In a post-match interview after RKS’ 25-8 win against Marist, Lodoni captain Tevita Ledua said that MGM has established themselves as a strong and serious contender.
MGM underlined their intentions in the game against QVS, notching the first try in the 15th minute of the game. QVS responded swiftly, as Maika Ratuere Jnr slotted a penalty goal just two minutes later, narrowing the margin to 5-3.
The underdogs were undeterred, and their determination translated into another try as Akapusi Seli powered his way over the line in the 26th minute, extending their lead to 10-3 until the breather.
The teams returned to the pitch after the break with renewed vigor. Maika Ratuere Jnr added three points to QVS’ tally through a penalty goal in the 46th minute, closing the gap to 10-6. MGM’s built on their lead with another try via Emosi Tumania in the 55th minute, taking the score to 15-6.
QVS, refusing to back down, mounted a fierce comeback, paying off in the 59th minute when Senirusi Rauqe managed to breach MGM’s defense and touch down for a crucial try, bringing QVS within striking distance at 15-11. In the remainder of the match, QVS sought to overturn the deficit, but MGM held on to cement their place in the finals next week.
Vodafone Deans Trophy U17 SemiFinal 2
Saturday, 19 August 2023
MGM High 15-11 QVS
HFC Stadium, Suva
MGM High (1-15): George Satakala, Emosi Tumania, Waisale Naitini, Mosese Tabuakoto, Vilisarisari Bainivalu, Jona Naitini, Tomasi Mawi, Osea Tuilovoni, Maleli Nasau, Viliame Lotawa, Joseva Lokelevu, James Liga, Akapusi Seli, Elijah Tuivanuaso, Atunaisa Davuiqalita
Reserves: Seremaia Turagabaleti, Emosi Joshua, Savenaca Cama, Serupepeli Sinumila, Samson Bogitini, Serupepeli Kunailagi, Waisiki Curuqara, Eremasi Goneqali, Anthony Tawake, Samuel Koli
Tries: Nasau, Seli, Tumania
QVS (1-15): Itu Josaia, Waisake Vakacere, Kameli Bakani, Sosiceni Waqa, Temesi Rinakama, Wame Marawa, Ilaitia Rakuro, Marika Koroi, Ilaitia Naqarase, Viliame Tikomaidraiba, Simione Kunawave, Asaeli Gade, Maleli Nauvasi, Senirusi Rauqe, Maika Ratuere Jnr
Reserves: Rt Veresi Naulivou, Mataitini Moceituba, Volau Mateyawa, Nemani Leweni, Savanaca Qabale, George O’Connor, Joshua Ravutu, Laisiasa Rokocibi, Ifereimi Kubukawa, Samuela Tule II
TRY: Rauqe; PEN Goals: Ratuere Jnr (2)
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)
U16: Natabua 10-18 RKS (HT: 10-8)
U17: MBHS 8-25 RKS (HT: 5-10), MGM High 15-11 (HT: 10-3)
Weet-Bix Raluve Championship
U16: ACS 12-15 Naitasiri Secondary (HT: 12-5)
U18: MGM 13-5 Jasper Williams (HT: 10-5)