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Thread: IRB Pacific Cup to kick off this weekend

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    IRB Pacific Cup to kick off this weekend

    Despite the recent trouble surrounding Tongan rugby, the opening round of the IRB Pacific Cup will still kick off this weekend.

    The Tau'uta Reds will face the Fiji Warriors in Nuku'alofa while the Tautahi Gold square off against the Fiji Barbarians in Lautoka.

    Tonga's participation in the Rugby World Cup has been in serious doubt as the troubled Pacific nation's rugby union faces significant financial difficulties.

    Three directors resigned from the board last week, which is split along pro-and anti-democracy lines.

    A special general meeting to oust the remaining democratic faction is scheduled for this week.

    In the other Pacific Cup match, Upolu Samoa plays Savai'i Samoa in Apia.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
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    Fiji Barbarians and Tau'uta Reds claim PRC victories

    Fiji Barbarians and Tau'uta Reds claim PRC victories

    31 MARCH 2007, from IRB

    Fiji Barbarians and Tau’uta Reds of Tonga recorded narrow victories on an exciting opening weekend of IRB Pacific Rugby Cup action.

    The Barbarians, playing in front of a packed Churchill Park, were 20-18 victors over Tautahi Gold, while Tau’uta Reds caused the first major upset of the tournament, defeating last year’s runners-up Fiji Warriors 23-20 in a dramatic match at Teufaiva Park in Tonga.

    Once again the opening fixtures demonstrated the worth of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup, producing exciting matches of high quality while capturing the imagination of the Rugby community in the Islands.

    The round-robin tournament, which is played over five rounds, provides an opportunity for over 120 locally based players in the islands with a competitive tournament structure that bridges the gap in the competition pathway between club rugby and the test arena.

    Fiji Barbarians off to a winning start

    Fiji Barbarians held off a late charge from Tautahi Gold of Tonga at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday to record a 20-18 victory in their opening game of the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup.

    The Tongans started the stronger but paid for indiscipline as they let their hosts score two tries when they had players in the sin bin.

    Tries from wing Tafa Lisiate and fullback Lu’au Setaleki saw the visitors jump to a 13-5 lead midway through the first half, but Samu Kunanitu pulled a five-pointer back for the Fijians on the stroke of half-time.

    And with the Tautahi still down to 14 players, Barbarians fullback Marika Vakacegu scored the third Fijian try before Sam Tabua grabbed a valuable bonus point with his side’s fourth score.

    Instead of closing out the victory, the Barbarians let Tautahi back into the game with a breakaway try from replacement Lehauli Sione. And, in a dramatic final flurry skipper Apikotoa Fangatapu had a chance to steal a win for the Tongans with a late kick at goal, but his attempt drifted wide of the uprights leaving a relieved Barbarians side to take maximum points.

    “It’s our first game, and we have a lot of areas to work on before the next round. However, despite the areas where we a little rusty we are pleased to get off to a winning start in what is an extremely competitive tournament,” said Fiji Barbarians head coach Ifereimi Tawake.

    FIJI BARBARIANS:

    1 Apisai Turukawa ©,
    2 Viliame Gadolo (Vereniki Sauturaga 58),
    3 Sikeli Gavidi (Isireli Temo 73),
    4 Mosese Vasuitoga,
    5 Jonacani Batirua (Rupeni Nasiga 40),
    6 Ifereimi Naruma (Koresi Ledua 48),
    7 Sam Tabua,
    8 Samu Kunanitu,
    9 Seveci Taka (Jock Luita 42),
    10 Jack Prasad (Jonetani Ralulu 76),
    11 Aseri Latianara (Jo Tora 48)
    12 Jonetani Ratu,
    13 Vereniki Goneva,
    14 Alipate Nagaya,
    15 Marika Vakacegu

    Tries: Kunanitu, Ratu, Vakacegu, Tabua.

    TAUTAHI GOLD:

    1 Matoto Tui’fua (Tui’fua Sione 58),
    2 Moala Feki (Sakalia Kama 40),
    3 Lo Tevita (yellow card 40-49),
    4 Fosita Tanginoa (Ika Samuela 56),
    5 Fotofili Filimoehala,
    6 Tonga Sione Niu,
    7 Fatai Liua,
    8 Leota Pou (yellow card 44-53) (Lolohea Lopeti 58),
    9 Soane Havea (Tovi Leakona 40),
    10 Apikotoa Fangatapu (C) (Lehauli Sione 66),
    11 Siaosi Folau,
    12 Tupou Matakaiongo,
    13 Taukapo Sione,
    14 Tafa Lisiate (Nonu Amanaki 76),
    15 Lu’au Setaleki

    Tries: Lisiate, Setaleki, L Sione; Penalty goal: Fangatapu

    Tau'uta Reds edge thrilling encounter

    Tau’uta Reds got their 2007 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup campaign off to the best possible start, defeating last year’s runners-up Fiji Warriors 23-20 in a tense, but exciting encounter at Teufaiva Park in Tonga.

    The home side, willed on by a 2000 strong crowd, were outscored two tries to one by a free flowing Warriors outfit. However, the Fijian side’s indiscipline coupled with twelve points from the boot of Reds outside half Mataiasi Aholelei was to prove costly.

    The Warriors had established a 10-3 lead following a converted try by number eight Samu Varuru, but it was the home side who reached the interval in front as Mesui Lemoto and Aholelei’s penalties were followed by a superb individual score by Luditka Ilolahia.

    The home side pressed on after the interval with two more Aholelei penalties, but the Warriors came back into the game and leveled the match mid way through the second half after a Taniela Rawaka penalty and a converted try from replacement Lloyd Hazelman.

    The final ten minutes were tense as both sides looked to close off the game, but the home side, playing with composure and greater forward strength, forced the Warriors into conceding a kickable penalty with five minutes to go. With regular kicker Aholelei off the field outside half Mesui Lemoto kicked the points to give the Tongans the perfect start to the tournament.

    TAU’ UTA REDS:

    1 Toma Toke,
    2 Etimoni Poteki,
    3 Tevita Fonua,
    4 Kelepi Halafihi,
    5 Isileli Fine,
    6 Atunaisa Sikalu,
    7 Rodney Mahe,
    8 Luditka Ilolahia,
    9 Enele Taufa,
    10 Mataiasi Aholelei,
    11 Salesi Havili,
    12 Tatafu Na'aniumotu,
    13 Kosilio Tonga'uiha (C),
    14 Ualosi Kailea,
    15 Mesui Lemoto
    Reps:
    16 Atelea Hu'akau,
    17 Sateki Mata'u,
    18 Otulea Fifita,
    19 Takai Tavalea,
    20 Sikalele 'Ahoafi,
    21 Ofa Takai,
    22 Fineasi Fiefia

    Try: Ilolahia, Penalty goals: Aholelei (3), Lemoto (2) Drop goal Aholelei

    FIJI WARRIORS:
    1 Alifoso Yalayalatabua,
    2 Sunia Koto,
    3 Tikoibau Matawalu,
    4 Langi Peters,
    5 Jone Qovu,
    6 Sanivalati Vunibola,
    7 Dale Tonawai,
    8 Samu Varuru,
    9 Aporosa Vata (C)
    10 Waisea Luveniyali,
    11 Jeremaia Tamanisau,
    12 Isoa Rokobici,
    13 Gabiriele Lovobalavu,
    14 Paula Tikomainaivalu,
    15 Taniela Rawaqa
    Reps:
    16 Aseri Buli,
    17 Viliame Seuseu,
    18 Aseri Tale,
    19 Sairusi Rokosalu,
    20 Kelemedi Bola,
    21 Luke Rogoyawa,
    22 Lloyd Hazelman

    Tries: Varurum, Hazelman, Conversions: Rawaka (2), Penalty goals: Rawaka (2)

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Bloody oath we did!"

    Nathan Sharpe, Legend.

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