Rewa and Northland book Vanua Cup semi-final spots

Vanua Cup Rewa vs Ovalau

Rewa and Northland have booked their places in the semi-finals of this season’s Vanua Cup competition, after defeating Ovalau 17-15 and Macuata 27-16 in their respective quarter-final matches at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori over the weekend.

Rewa shrugged off a persistent Ovalau outfit in a game of two halves in muddy conditions. The Alivereti Doviverata coached side scored all their points in the first half, faired well in the scrums but could not capitalise territory-wise. However, it was enough to end Ovalau’s unbeaten run in this season’s Vanua Cup competition. 

“It’s disappointing that we could not build on our 17-point lead, but a win is a win. We have to reboot and prepare for the semi-final.”

Rewa Rugby coach Ro Alivereti Doviverata

Ovalau had qualified for the quarters after finishing at the helm of the Northern round-robin standings with six wins from six games; and the only team in the competition to record an unbeaten feat. Rewa had finished second on the Central round-robin standings behind Northland.

Rewa face an uphill battle in the semi-final, against  Nanukuloa which is led by padre and former Nadroga and Flying Fijians coach Joji Rinakama. Nanukuloa had topped the Eastern standings and progressed to the quarters where they beat Serua 12-8 at Lautoka’s Churchill Park.

In the other semi-final, Northland will take on Ba. Ba defeated Tavua 26-14 in their quarter-final match that was also played in Lautoka. 

Northland assistant coach Jo Tukana acknowledges that the Ba game will not be an easy encounter. The Macuata game, he says, exposed weaknesses they will need to work on before the semi-final against Ba.

“[Macuata] had an advantage defending their backline which also came with good speedsters. Thankfully the boys countered with the attacks throughout the match,” Tukana said.

“The players will need to strengthen their mental focus during the games. We could see how they poorly handled the ball, maintaining their discipline and giving away easy penalties to Macuata and we will work on that.”

Meanwhile, the Fiji Rugby Union is still to confirm the venue and date for the semi-final matches. However, it is unlikely to be played this weekend in view of the Fiji Day celebrations.

Catch the full coverage of the Rewa versus Ovalau and Northland versus Macuata quarter-final matches at 8pm on MaiTV tonight. It will air simultaneously via MaiTV’s facebook page

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