Superb Super 9 rugby action

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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Patrick Faapale of Eels still leading the points table while Navigators first five Aukuso Fruean coming in second for this week.

Patrick Faapale of Eels still leading the points table while Navigators first five Aukuso Fruean coming in second for this week. (Photo: Ulimasao Fata)

Another superb round of Super 9 Rugby Championships was enjoyed by all last weekend. 

Round 6 kicked off with the first draw of the competition, and coincidence enough there were two matches with the same score 17 all. 

The Vikings of Fa’asaleleaga, Amoa & Itu o Tane regions drew with the Knights of Faleata region 17-17 at Puapua, Savaii .

Both teams scored one try a piece with unsuccessful conversions, but both executed well on penalty conversions.

Vikings Vice Captain and No.8 Fili Setu scored the only try for his team. 

The Eagles of Tuamasaga region drew with the Warriors of Palauli, Salega & Asau regions 17-17 at Leulumoega Fou College, Malua.

Eagles earned two consecutive tries from No.8 Max Vao, and another try from their halfback Lotu Tololi. Ivy Leleisi’uao converted one conversion for his side.

Warriors scored two tries from their forwards Mulivai Lemoa and Fiti Esau, with one penalty and two conversions from the boot of Siolo Tiatia, their fullback.

In the south east of Upolu, the Southern Tornadoes marched on for back to back wins by defeating the Legends at Sapunaoa, Falealili 20-7.

Southern Tornadoes of Siumu and Falealili came back to capitalize on the mistakes they encountered in the previous week losing to Chiefs by one point. Lole Tualaulelei scored their first try last week, and converted by Togipo I’amanu. 

Their other points came from a penalty try and penalties converted by Murphy Paulo and Togipo I’amanu. Legends of Anoama’a, Aleipata and Atua I Saute earned one try by their forward back Karene Tiumalu and converted by Iafeta Purcell.

Round 6 also was rounded off with another Top of the Table Clash between the Chiefs and Eels at Apia Park. Like two prized fighters entering the match, one undefeated since last year’s NPC Final, while the other was out for revenge and prove who is King in provincial rugby in Samoa.

The Eels drew first blood with a try to lock Koroseta Veni who finished off a string of phases created by their bruising forward pack after a knock on ball from former Manu Samoa Fautua Otto.

Eels were up 0-7 after 6 minutes into the first half.

The Chiefs immediately replied with a sublime try to wing Taimua Jr Maleilegaoi in the corner after some slick ball movement from their back division.

The next 30 minutes, both teams’ defenses were much stronger, but the Eels forward pack seemed to have upper hand marching into the Chiefs’ red zone, at times at will; in range for skipper Patrick Faapale to convert three penalties.

The Chiefs looked to speed up the tempo, but with the Eels quick line speed and suffocating defense, quickly nullified any ball movement from the men in blue. As the pressure mounted, errors slowly crept into play.

Half time score: Chiefs 8-16 Eels

In the second half Chiefs came out with more energy and vigor, threatening to close the gap at 11-16 with another successful penalty kick from Malu Falaniko.

But it was all undone, as the Chiefs unforced errors crept in again which the Eels pounced on to produce two tries to No.8 Fagu Malloy and halfback Ionatana Tino.

After 80 minutes of rugby, the Eels forward pack proved too much in the end, while in contrast the Chiefs just could not get into their usual rhythm.

And now after Round six of Super 9 Rugby Championships, Eels of Vaimauga region have secured the top position on the table with Chiefs coming second and Southern Tornadoes coming in third and Vikings in fourth place.

Southern Tornadoes and former Manu Samoa hooker Andrew Williams is the leading top try score of the tournament so far, with Paul Scanlan of Eels and Samoa U20 representative coming in second spot.

Patrick Faapale of Eels still leading the points table while Navigators first five Aukuso Fruean coming in second for this week.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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