Brown’s return sees Police lift Sukuna Bowl

Jack Volavola of Police on attack against the Army defence during their FMF Ratu Sukuna Bowl challenge match at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Friday, November 25, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Police rugby team captain James Brown says this year’s FMF Ratu Sukuna Bowl win is something he wanted badly after sitting out last year’s loss to Army.

Brown led his side to a 19-11 victory over the men from Delainabua at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva last Friday.

Last year, Brown was undergoing basic recruitment training to join the Fiji Police Force and missed out on the match.

He said he could not ask for anything more and thanked the Almighty God for his provisions.

“I was under recruitment training when Police last won the old tanoa,” he said.

“To be part of this team and win the new tanoa is something that will go down in history.”

The old tanoa was burnt at the Army barracks last year. “Our preparation this year was so immense that we came out victors today (Friday),” he said.

“I never dreamt to captain the side but just being a member and to be given the captain’s armband gives me the added responsibility and I am honoured.

“I want to thank all my teammates for playing for the police officers who could not make it to the ground because of work commitments.”

The win by Police was their 33rd in the long history of the competition. With the stadium filled with a sea of red and blue supporters, Police showed their intent to win back the title from the first whistle.

After three minutes from kick-off, prop Inoke Ravuiwasa scored the first try and fullback Jack Volavola, who was also the man of the match, converted for an early 7-0 lead. Army flanker Anasa Qaranivalu replied with an unconverted try to put his side within two points.

A mistake by Volavola almost resulted in Qaranivalu’s second try in the 15th minute which was ruled out by the video referee. Volavola added three points to his side’s tally but was later handed a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.

Police led 10-5 at the break. In the first quarter of the second half, Jeke Suguturaga kicked two penalties as Army took the lead for the first time in the match 11-10.

Volavola made up for his send-off with two penalties to push Police back into the lead at 16-11.

Naitasiri ace kicker Etonia Rokotuisawa made his presence known off the bench with a 50-metre drop goal to clinch the win for Police.

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