Saturday, 2 August 2008 3:34 PM

Matangiki Scores to Rugby Finals

League winners, Matangiki, have scored their way to the rugby finals after defeating arch rivals Avaiki, 17-11 at the Panatina oval yesterday.

The men in blue will take on Luapel in the finals on a date yet to be confirmed.

National rugby sevens representative, Leslie Puia converted two first half penalty to give Avaiki a 6-0 lead. But Matangiki's Simon Tepuke's fast run in the Avaiki twenty two scored a try at the flag just before half time. Owen Teika successfully converted two points providing a 7-6 lead.

What seemed to be the match winner, Avaiki second rower Frank Paikea crossed the try line late in the game to secure an 11-7 lead. Ten minutes before full time, Matangiki flanker, Rodney picked up a drop ball by Avaiki's Tai to pull off the crucial try of the game. Teika converted successfully to lock their match winning points to 14-11.

Avaiki caused a minor controversy when they walked off just before the final whistle. This was subsequent to the match referee's decision to rule a penalty against their player supposedly said to be offside. This did not hinder the match decision as Teika converted to extend the final lead to 17-11.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province