Rugby league action in Savai’i
Prince Edward Park, Iva Savaii played host to an exploding semi conclusion to Rugby League’s 13 a side competition which has been running for 5 weeks.
The competition saw new teams fielded from Vaiafai, Lalomalava, Siufaga and with the return of the more established sides Lupesiliva Storms from Sapapalii, Amoa Bulldogs, Iva White Lions, Faala Broncos and Salelavalu Ve’avao Raiders it made for a great display of rugby league with a Savaiian flair.
During the preliminary rounds we saw surprising results and somewhat big upsets caused by the new comers.
The aim of the competition was to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the sport of rugby league as the Association continues to develop the sport in the Big Island.
Whilst the cheering public got their money’s worth, it wasn’t without rugby league’s usual fanfare of very excited fans turned referees.
Support for the growing game was great to see and they were surely treated to some great footwork and pure talent from the teams and particular individual skills. As the competition was winding down it would be the teams with previous experience who would come to dominate the final stages of the competition.
With the approach of Saturday’s semi-finals it saw Salelavalu Ve’avao Raiders take on the 2015 competition 9’s Champions Lupesiliva Storms with the Storms narrowly edging out the Ve’avao Raiders.
Fancy footwork from Muta Papalii saw the Lupesiliva Storms cross the line much to a disappointing but strong Salelavalu opposition. Notably stalwart Vaovasa Afa of Salelavalu lead a domineering Raider’s first half but it would be the well disciplined and basic teamwork that saw Lupesiliva Storms come out the victors.
The other semi-final between the 2015 defending 13’s champions Iva White Lions and Faala Broncos who has dominated this year’s competition with real brute tackling and rib shattering defence was a brilliant eye-opener with impressive basic skills yet it had all the trimmings of a team that had been playing for quite some time.
However, experience shone through with White Lions warming the score board with a try from Tele’a Auta displayed try saving skills against the might of the Faala Bronco’s, but alas it wouldn’t be the year of the horse as Iva White Lions tidied up office to head to the finals destined for Apia, Upolu on Independence Day.
The final standings for the rest of the competition with the final yet to be played:
3rd: Faala Broncos
4th: Salelavalu Ve’avao Raiders
5th: Amoa Bulldogs
6th: Siufaga Tigers
7th: Vaiafai Dragons