Masaga scores but NZ Divisional XV go down
October 29, 2005

Fortunes continue to smile on the rugby field for Counties Manukau teenager Lelia Masaga.

He scored the New Zealand Divisional 15's only try but the touring side lost 11-24 to the Fiji Barbarians at Nadi's Prince Charles Park today.

His Counties teammate Tim Manawatu kicked two penalties.

The Fijians led 10-8 at halftime in torrential rain which turned the usually rock-hard ground muddy.

But the Fijians scored 14 more points in the second half to give the touring side a first-up defeat.

The Divisional team will play the Fiji national side on Wednesday in their only other match on tour.

Hawke's Bay's Tafai Ioasa, playing openside flanker today, has a back injury and is doubtful for Wednesday's game.

Winger Masaga, 19, was selected in the touring side this week and just after being named in the Chiefs Super 14 squad, announced yesterday, he was named in the starting team for the Divisional 15's opening match in Fiji.

New Zealand Divisional 15 assistant coach Peter Russell said the team made too many mistakes.

"Our ball security let us down in the wet conditions and we couldn't get any momentum going. But although today's result was disappointing, some aspects of our game went well, particularly the set pieces," Russell said.

Fiji Barbarians 24, NZ Divisional 15 11 (Lelia Masaga try; Tim Manawatu 2 pen). Halftime: 10-8.


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