Game 1 Versus Pacific All-Stars
Our Oceania cup week started off in excellent conditions at Suva’s Albert Park, 8 weeks of training had come to an end and we were now in a real game. Our Captain for this game Ace Garae Gesa won the toss but the Pacific All-Stars had the first foray forward. In an even contest early, we were able to get the first goal through Kieron Meake, who was instrumental in a number of our forward moves with good kicking to position. Juniour Willie Telkrap was sound in defence along with Brayan Malas. Maeno Taiwa took some good early marks in our forward line, and our second goal came through Eddie Tom. Our boys were really engaged in the game and playing with confidence. Ronnie Hinge and Steven Caleb were working hard to maintain the pressure around the ball. The defenders in Elkana Chan and Athurnaz “Travis” Lenge kept the All-Stars from scoring any goals in the first half.
After half time, Leonce Warsal went to the backline where he had a massive presence, continually repelling the All Stars attempts to score. We scored our third goal in the middle of the 2nd half, a great team effort to get the ball forward where Sandy Lop finished it off with a goal from in-close. Charles Kennedy and Suley Takal continued to provide good run for the team and Brayan Malas continued to rebound strongly from defence. There were lots of smiles went the final siren sounded, a really positive win and a great start to the week.
Vanuatu Volcanoes 3-3-21 Defeated Pacific All-Stars 1-3-9
Game 2 Versus Fiji Local Tribe
Our captain for this game Junior Willie Telkrap won the toss and kicked with the wind but Fiji had all the initial play, our defenders were really tested, Maeno, Travis, Elkana, Brayan and Tom Tamuri were in a real contest. Leonce Warsal was battling hard in the ruck but we couldn’t win enough of the ball to put the pressure back onto Fiji and our tackling wasn’t at the required level. We started to win the ball and get it forward, but we missed our opportunities and kicked points and out of bounds. This was a great learning experience for our team, we had the chance to be right with the opposition but didn’t take our chances.
In the 2nd half, Fiji took control of the game and the Volcanoes dropped in confidence and didn’t play with the same level of spirit that we saw earlier in the day.
Vanuatu Volcanoes 0-3-3 were defeated by Fiji Local Tribe 5-7-35
Following the game the team went to a swimming pool for a recovery session and then had a meeting where the discussion was around “what did we learn?” Everyone agreed we had a positive first day, but there are a number of areas we need to improve for our Oceania Cup game tomorrow at 11am. Our preparation has already started….the Volcanoes are in great spirits.