Ratu Kadavulevu School scored three tries to seal a dominant 25-8 victory over Marist in the first Vodafone Deans U17 semifinal, an outcome that captain and fly-half Tevita Vuniwaqa Ledua is thankful for after having exited the game early due to injury.
He stayed on to convert their first try, and what was also the first points of the game, scored in the 12th minute by Ropate Cokaciri before he was guided off due to an injury.
“I am grateful to the teammates for their fighting spirit,” Ledua said. “Making the semifinals was not an easy feat, and we are thankful to God for seeing us this far. It will not be any easier going forward. We will head back to school, work on areas that we did not do well in today for next week’s game.”
RKS took charge early on, as Ropate Cokaciri scored a try, followed by a successful conversion from Ledua. Marist responded with a try by Kaliova Delasau, but the conversion was missed, resulting in a score of 5-7.
RKS extended their lead with a penalty kick by Elima Ratuvolavola, ending the first half 10-5. The second half saw RKS continuing their dominance, with Joji Rakaba securing another try. Marist fought back with Ani Delana’s penalty goal, closing in at 8-15. However, Ratuvolavola’s restored the gap shortly after with another penalty kick, before RKS prop and Vice-Captain Ratu Isireli Kunahina Qaranivalu put the game out of reach via a try. Ratuvolavola stepped up to kick the conversion to seal their win.
RKS progresses to the finals next week where they will take on MGM. MGM defeated QVS 15-11 in the second semi-final match.
Vodafone U17 Deans Trophy SemiFinal 1
Saturday, 19 August 2023
Marist 8-25 RKS
HFC Stadium, Suva
MARIST (1-15): Otheneil Waqainabete, Joseph Tikotani, Lusiano Sakealevu, Ioane Bulavakarua, Sevuloni Rokotuivuna, Andrew Sukhu, Manasa Rokomanu, Kaliova Delasau, Vitali Naduva, Ame Bautolu, Moape Bolebole, Apolosi Naua, Nacani Vianny, Kusitino Baletasere, Ani Delana
Reserves: Vilisi Tiko, Oliva Solomone, Daniel Damuni, Robert Drodrolagi, Taniela Matakibau, Rt Simione Kaiwalu, Inoke Masitoro, Samisoni Tulagi, Christian Yaqovu, Sakeasi Bai
TRY: Delasau; PEN GOAL: Delana
RKS (1-15): Rt Radoli Tuikubulau, Maciu Saulekaleka, Rt Isirei Kunahina Qaranivalu (VC), Jone Naqota, Ropate Cokaciri, Vacolo Lesumaisaineai, Laisiasa Sadrugu, Viliame Gaunavinaka, Esala Baleiyadua, Tevita Vuniwaqa Ledua (C), Semi Bukarau, Joji Rakaba, Netani Talemaitoga, Alipate Navukula, Elima Ratuvolavola
Reserves: Laitia Tamata, George Togoloa, Sivaniolo Lumelume, Kelepi Vatuwaliwali, Sauela Keni, Rt Samuela Loco, Ame Sagata, William Hill, Kemueli Nayava, Simione Saravanua
TRIES: Cokaciri, Rakaba, Qaranivalu; Conversions: Ledua, Ratuvolavola; PEN GOALS: Ratuvolavola (2)