PRC -Barbarians down the Warriors
The experience of the Fiji Warriors was repelled by an enthusiastic & younger Barbarians side in Sigatoka -Fiji today.
The much-awaited clash of the Fijian sides kicked off the PRC, right from the outset the intentions were clear and both sides were willing to have a go.
In the first 15 mins the Barbarians were camped near the Warriors 22, this great passage was soon rewarded with a try to Josevata Nasilisili. His forwards burst down the left touchline and he chimed in on the angle to perfection, dotting down under the sticks.
It took 23 minutes until the Champion Warriors woke up, firstly they applied great pressure in the scrum, and then their spark too arrived in the backs. They put up a massive up & under near half way, nothing seemed on until Epeli Vuicuvu pulled in the bounce and scooted off for a great try. Taniel Rawaqa added the extras and it was game on at 7 a piece.
The Barbarians looked for a while like they might fold; the forwards were under immense heat, but the backs kept positive and probed at any chance. Jaoji Dakuvula has the number 15 on his back for the Barbarians; he is one dangerous player and was testing the Warriors time and time again.
Both teams traded a penalty and in the 26th and 28th minutes came 2 huge plays in this match, both stared Dakuvula, one he will love the other he will not. He sliced through the centers and got hit in the tackle of the match from Warriors skipper Dale Tonawai, bones clattering he got up and 2 minutes later smacked over a penalty from 53 meters. This composure and massive boot will ensure the selectors keep an eager eye on this fella.
Just before the break, Rawaqa landed a penalty to lock it all up at 13 a piece at the half.
In the second 40 the Warriors asserted the dominance we all expected, they were grafting the pick & goes and every scrum they were on top. After 8 minutes winger Aminisitai Niukula got the try, Rawaqa stayed on target and the plan seemed on track.
On the 59 minute mark on ran the Sevens star Emosi Vucago, the crowd were eager for him and the loudest part of the match was his first burst with the ball. He was in a sniping mood and his zest all of a sudden put the Barbarians on the front foot, with this the intensity of the match triggered a frenzy from both squads.
Things got a little loose, the crowd roared as the ball was darting from one teams zone to the other, but this last 10 minutes should have been when the Warriors shut up shop. Instead they played the game and paid the price.
For the last 3 mins of the match the Barbarians looked superb, powering it up in the forwards, they pressed the line for a win. At the 80 minute mark Vesi Rarawa crashed over for the winner. The Barbarians erupted in celebration and this win has blown the PRC wide open.
After the match Barbarians skipper Rupeni Nasiga had this to say "It is like winning a World Cup beating these guys, most of them are in the Flying Fijians and we are very happy now". The final score was 23-20.