Natabua Advance to National Semi, Carrying West School’s Vodafone Deans Trophy Hopes

Natabua has secured their spot in the national semi-finals, keeping the hopes of the western schools’ Vodafone Deans trophy alive by narrowly defeating Lelean with a one-point margin, 13-12 at the HFC Stadium in Suva.

This after Cuvu College, the other West-based school team was bundled out by Suva Grammar School in another match-up.

Natabua started strong with a try by flanker Samuela Nawale, but the conversion was missed, leaving the score 5-0. Centre Viliame Nasau’s kick extended Natabua’s lead with a penalty goal, making it 8-0 by halftime.

The momentum shifted in the second half as Lelean’s Isoa Laulaba entered the fray, making an immediate impact. His try, coupled with a successful conversion, reduced Natabua’s lead to a mere point, setting the stage for a comeback. Lelean’s newfound energy fired up their attack, and the left winger Vilimoni Raivasi capitalised on a scoring opportunity, putting his team ahead 12-8 after the conversion was missed. Unfazed, Natabua responded via replacement prop Raymond Navunikaba powering over the try line, rekindling his team’s hopes. Despite an unsuccessful conversion attempt, Natabua managed to regain the lead and held on to secure the victory.

Natabua coach Tevita Delailomaloma was happy to have overcome Lelean and keep their Deans trophy hopes alive, noting as well the work-ons they need to do before their next hit-out.

“We need to fix the line-up. We were not holding onto the ball longer. Lelean was closing up on the space very quickly,” Delailomaloma said.

Encouraging supporters, he urged them to turn out in full force for next week’s semi-final clash.

In other U18 match-ups, Suva Grammar defeated Cuvu College 16-11, and Queen Victoria School outclassed Nasinu 25-7.

NATABUA (1-15): Jone Bainiwa, Etonia Vulaono, Imanueli Penijueli, Iliesa Erenavula, Sailosi Natuwawa, Samuela Navale, Paula Navukula, Asaeli Naivalu, Iliesa Batinisavu, Amena Bulivakarua, Rt levani Naivalu, Fabiano Young (Capt), Viliame Nasau, Jeremaia Kakaivalu, Leone Rusanaqoli
Reserves: Viliame Raikiviti, Raymond Navunikaba, Alipate Qoro Autiko Masilaca, Rt Inoke Nauaraboa, Suliasi Lagi, Charles Salikikoro, Mikaele Drotini, Eseroma Vato, Mosese Ratu

LELEAN (1-15): Jone Leweni, Ratu Selio Naulu, Pita Bolavucu, Laisiasa Kubu, Setareki Turagacoke, Adrea Ramabuke, Rt Pita Talevilaucala, Apenisa Gatu, Rt Seru Kaibau, Vereimi Lavo, Vilimoni Raivasi, Adriu Bola. Manoa Bukanivanua, Atunaisa Valesasa, Saiasi Maitoga
Reserves: Sekonaia Ledua, Alivereti Rokomasima, Samson Penjueli, Tomasi Labeka, Isoa Laulaba, Pita Cakaunitabua, Semi Tuinakavadra, Peni Niunitoga, John Irosoa, Semi Siqila

Vodafone Deans Trophy FIXTURES and RESULTS SO FAR:
U14

Ba Provincial Freebird 0-22 Marist Brothers High School (HT: 0-3), Lelean Memorial School 13-7 CMF College (HT: 5-0), Tailevu North College 12-25 Suva Grammar School (HT: 7-15), Nasinu Secondary 5-25 Ratu Kadavulevu School (HT: 5-10)
U15
Cuvu College 10-26 Suva Grammar (HT: 10-7), QVS 24-0 Sigatoka Methodist (HT: 0-0), Lelean Memorial School 12-25 Marist Brothers High (HT: 7-10), Ratu Kadavulevu School 20-15 Nasinu Secondary (HT: 7-0)
U16
Suva Grammar School 12-23 Natabua High School(HT: 0-23), Ratu Kadavulevu School 17-7 Nasinu Secondary School (HT: 7-7), Xavier College vs QVS (HT: 0-12), MBHS 10-3 Lelean (HT: 3-3)
U17
MGM 27-24 Lelean (HT: 10-7), Cuvu College 8-22 QVS (HT: 3-17), SGS 19-23 RKS (HT: 14-15), MBHS 17-15 Natabua High (HT: 12-10)

U18
Cuvu College 11-16 Suva Grammar (HT: 8-10), Natabua High 13-12 Lelean (HT: 8-0), QVS 25-7 Nasinu (HT: 10-0), MBHS vs RKS

U19
Rt Navula College 17-17 Lomary Secondary (HT: 12-7), RKS vs Naitasiri Secondary, Marist Brothers vs QVS, Lelean vs Ra High

SEMI-FINAL FIXTURES
U14
: RKS vs Lelean; MBHS vs SGS
U15: SGS vs QVS, MBHS vs RKS

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