PRC- Tautahi show they are Gold.
Tautahi Gold the reigning IRB Pacific Rugby Cup champions have staged a great comeback win to defeat the Fiji Warriors and keep a grip on their trophy.
Played on their home patch at Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku'alofa, the local boys started hot with a try minute try after 2 mins to hooker Maamola Tiueti. The Fiji Warriors responded with two penalties from fly half Alipate Tani and wing Apisalome Wagatabu's try to lead 11-10. This had the game poised and the cheers were flowing.
This sent the divided island crowd into a sing a long of Tonga and Fiji’s greatest hits to propel their boys along. The sounds of home lifted the Fijians and they found that extra gear and sped the game up, this extra pace and franticness is where these guys thrive and points started to come their way.
The Warriors scored another try through centre Ropate Ratu, combining power and amazing acrobatic ability, he crashed over in the right hand corner to leave Fiji up 16-10 on the stroke of half-time.
Out they came in the second half and the visitors were on fire, fly half Alipate Tani touching down to give the Warriors a 21-10 lead. The Fijian side looked on course to remain unbeaten after two rounds, but their cunning plan didn’t quite factor in the mass of patience and guts from the defending PRC champions.
Starting with the Gold’s first five & captain Fangatapu Apikotoa, they didn’t panic. This man Apikotoa seems to have so much time, be it under the high ball, receiving a pressure kick in his own 22, or on attack, he just glides and looks oh so composed & he is! This was the key to them clawing their way back and snatching victory.
In the heat both sides began to ring the changes, Apikotoa nailed a second penalty in the 55th minute before his conversion of replacement hooker Va'inga Fangupo's try cut the deficit to 21-20.
Apikotoa edged Tautahi Gold in front with another penalty in the 73rd minute, before kicking another in the final minute to keep the title race wide open in 2009 with all bar Fiji Barbarians having picked up at least one victory.
This match had it all, big hits, running galore and try denied at the hooter to separate the 2 teams. In the end the Fijians will be kicking themselves for letting a 21-10 lead slip away to a 25-21 loss, on the other hand the home town boys will be brimming with confidence and are now on track.