Fiji Airways Fijiana and Manu Sina win big in Round Two matches of the 2018 Oceania Rugby Women’s XVs Championship after big wins for the leading sides on Tuesday.
Manu Sina were too strong for Tonga 68-7 in the opening game. However, if any team looked impressive, the hosts turned ‘up the heat’ at Churchill Park in Lautoka, and ran riot over Papua New Guinea Palais 96-0.
The two results made for more enjoyable women’s rugby, for fans and supporters of the game would enjoy. Played in good conditions, the scheduling of these matches in November meant that the field was sry – as seen in the scorelines [that equaled over 170 points scored) between the Oceania women’s rugby teams.
While Samoa relied heavily on their overseas-based players to see them through, on the other hand Fijiana were again boosted by their experienced Sevens stars who turned up the heat.
Fullback Tima Ravisa, flankers Jiowana Sauto and Lavenia Tinai together with halfback Ana Roqica and Rusila Nagasau ran havoc over the Palais side. Flyhalf Tokasa Seniyasi also stood out with another great performance so did props Makereta Tunidau and Leilani Burnes.
FIJI 96 – Tries: Jiowana Sauto (2), Luisa Tisolo (2), Timaima Ravisa (2), Leilani Burnes, Makereta Tunidau, Lavenia Tinai, Karalaini Naisewa, Ana Maria Roqica, Torika Seniyasi, Rusila Nagasau, Salote Vakaturi, Taraivini Adiraba, Penalty Try; Conversions: Seniyasi (5), Tisolo (2)
Fiji Airways Fijiana captain Rusila Nagasau had nothing but pride when talking about her team’s effort today, telling Oceania Rugby “I just really want to thank the team and thank the coach. Last week we went back and had our blackboard session and there were just a few things that we needed to work on, especially in the forwards.
If this analysis is to be genuine, then it must be honest. PNG had no answer to Fiji’s offload game and once the Fijians were in front the Palaise lost the plot and failed to claw their way back.
The brutal home side gave no quarter, even with a number of yellow cards appearing to even the match-up. But, as is the difference of International rugby experience, the Fiji women’s XVs were just too clinical.
Manu Sina loose-trio continue to impress
The loose trio of Samoa, burly number eight Nina Foaese, captain Sui Puarasi and Marilyn Live were in the thick of everything. They led from the front laying the platform for their midfielders Josephine Falesita and Billy-Jean Ale to exploit. Easily feeding ball to the wingers, to turn it into points.
Tonga had little answers, only managing to cross the line on one occasion, while Manu Sina were terrific in every sense, as they put on 68 points.
Samoa 68 – Tries:Marilyn Live (2), Mepa Maiava (2), Sieni Mose (2), Lee Sa’u, Aiesha Smalley, Billy-Jean Ale, Josephine Pulumu Soteria Falesita, Saelua Vanessa Leaulu; Conversions: Seini Mose (4)
TONGA 7 – Try: Akuila Mele; Con: Potaufa
Samoan team captain Sui Pauaraisa was pleased with her side’s effort. “It’s always a good battle against our Tongan sisters. We went away from our first game and worked with our rucks as our main focus throughout the whole game,” Pauraisa told Oceania Rugby.
PNG Palais and Tonga Build for the future
Papua New Guinea and Tonga will battle for third spot, in the 2018 Oceania Rugby Women’s XVs Championship after these losses. And each will hope to avoid the wooden spoon. They have fared well in their last two games but lack of fitness and execution let them down.
Both sides will grow from this opportunity no doubt, and will do well as they build for next season and invest in the women’s game. With the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, it will be an added incentive for this two sides to improve and fight for a qualification place [over the next two years].
The ideals of the championship are #EqualPlayingField and over the course of the championship, it has been to give all four sides an ‘equal opportunity’. From that, two teams have emerged dominant.
The two form teams, Fijiana and Manu Sina, are now destined to compete for the Championship prize. It will all come down to the critical final round, this Saturday. Last Word on Rugby wish teams all the very best.
2018 Oceania Rugby Women’s XVs Championship decider
Saturday, November 24.
1:00pm – Papua New Guinea v Tonga
3:30pm – Fiji v Samoa
Livestream available on the Oceania Rugby facebook page.
“Main phot credit – Ocean Rugby”