The Kaiviti Silktails got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start with a 16 – 6 win over the FNRL State of Origin Champs – the Western Maroons, at Nadovo Park, Lautoka.
The Silktails started the first half strongly with former Rugby Sevens star Sefanaia Vully and 18 year old winger Emosi Duibutu scoring first half tries to go to the break 12 – 0.
In what was a scrappy second-half, 18 year old prop Gabriel Naliva scrapped on a loose ball to score the Silktails only second half try. With the second half dominated by handling errors, the Silktails ended up running our winners 16 – 6.
Despite the scrappy performance from both sides, Coach Wes Naiqama was really pleased with his sides defensive resolve – particularly on their try line.
“We went into the second half with our youngest side and although we let ourselves down offensively, turning the ball over early in our sets we backed it up with some great goal line defense particularly from our middles.” said Naiqama.
“For me our pre-season has been about defence particularly around the ruck and I was pleased with what we did there against a physical Maroons outfit.“
“At one stage, every guy in our pack except one were under the age of 19, and I was really proud of how they stood up to some seasoned campaigners from the men’s competition in the Vodafone Cup.”
The Silktails will now take on the PNG Hunters in the annual Melanesian Bowl next Saturday, at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.
Coach Naiqama will look to play his strongest team against the QLD Cup outfit after using 28 players today.
The Silktails will also be boosted by the return of Rusi Baleitamavua, Isaiah Reuben and possibly Jonetani Bokini who were all unavailable today due to injury.