VenueChurchill Park, Lautoka
Kick Off Time
7:00pm (Local), Friday, 9 May 2008
7:00pm (Away), Friday, 9 May 2008
The Tauuta Reds have put in a solid performance to down the fancied Fiji Warriors In Lautoka tonight. Played under sluggish wet conditions the Tongan’s were a wave of red in defence and showed great composure to hang on to their lead and record their first win in this competition. Wet rugby is made for big strong men and the reds simply played to their strength, powerhouse number 8 Lotu Filipine carved valuable metres and right on his shoulder were a pack of hungry men. Their cause was helped even more when late in the first half the Warriors had 2 men sent to the sin bin for repeat offences in the ruck. This ignited the Reds into a frenzy of attacks, their method was left wanting though as they were rushing a bit and trying too hard to get points fast. The Fijians really stood up and put in some massive defence to hear the halftime whistle with 2 men down and not conceding any points.
The second half was all Tonga, their powerful men wanted to strike early and that is exactly what they did with a try to charging lock Sione Tamani. The Fijians clung on for dear life, they made plenty of tackles and fullback Taniela Rawaqa kept them in the hunt slotting some valuable penalties. The red wave continued though and the feeling of confidence became more evident as the visitors started to really stamp their mark on this game. More huge men made inroads and prop Seteki Matau crashed over for a try and was soon followed by lock Isileli Fine. After the hurt of last weeks last minute loss the Reds played well and slowed the game and kept possession with draining forward drives and patience to dominate the ball. The Warriors were pinned in their half most of the second half and blew a couple of chances with forward passes and knock ons at crucial times, this is all due to pressure and this was all applied by the Tauuta Reds. They were solid all night and deserved their hard fought win and will take great confidence into next week.