Drua tame Rebels at home

April 1, 2023 5:27 pm

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua in action at the HFC Bank today during their second home game.

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua delivered the goods in Suva as they recorded their second home win of the Shop N Save Super Rugby season.

It’s a historic moment for the team and the fans as both the Drua and Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua achieved the goal of a double win at the HFC Bank Stadium.

The Mick Byrne-coached side defended their turf with a 38-28 win over the visiting Rebels.

The Drua got the fans on their feet in the first five minutes of the match with two quick tries.

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Captain Meli Derenalagi thanked their 16th man for continuously backing them

“Thank you very much for supporting your beloved Drua team. Thank you for coming out in numbers just to support the boys, we thank you once again.”

Kalaveti Ravouvou, with his show of brilliance, took on a few defenders before offloading for fullback Ilaisa Droasese for the first try of the match.

Droasese was the provider of the second try, with a well-taken kick to clear them away from their 22.

Speedster Selestino Ravutaumada read the resulting play well to come away with an interception for Drua’s second try and his first in Super Rugby Pacific.

The Rebels put on more than 10 phases from the restart, pushing deep into Fiji’s territory, but the Drua’s defence stood the test as they won a crucial penalty.

Rebels captain Brad Wilkin says the Drua was the better team at the end of the day.

“Fiji Drua just got off to a really hot start, we knew they would. We weren’t good in the contact zone and we allowed them to play the rugby that they want to play.” 

The Drua opened up play with offloads and support play, which paved the way for their third try, and Vilive Miramira was the beneficiary, getting it done at the far corner for a 19-0 lead.

The visitors stuck to their systems and were rewarded when hooker Alex Mafi muscled his way over the tryline.

However, the Drua were lethal when they stuck to their game plan, making a few strong carries before releasing for the backline to open up play.

This paid dividends as they were able to penetrate, with Iosefo Masi running a straight line through to the tryline, backed by another try at the corner minutes later through Kitione Salawa.

Teti Tela converted Salawa’s try for a massive 33-7 lead.

It was the visitors that struck first in the second spell, with Wallaby Andrew Kellaway keeping them in the contest with their second try.

The Rebels mounted attacks and pressure on the Drua in their territory, but the home side handled it well with solid defence and held up well during the scrums as well as the mauls.

Ravutaumada could have gotten his second try from a broken field play, but the referee disallowed it as the pass from Tevita Ikanivere went forward.

A cross-kick plan from the Australian side didn’t go according to plan as the Drua managed to turn possession over.

Peni Matawalu spotted space at the back and executed a kick with two Drua players chasing, the ball set up well for Elia Canakaivata as he slid through for a try.

The Rebels stayed in the game as they dominated possession and managed to cross the tryline through Carter Gordon and a late one to Pone Fa’amausili.

Drua had its chances to further their lead, but handling errors denied them.

Nadroga centre Michael Naitokani and Phillip Baselala got their debuts while former Marist Brothers High School Deans Under-18 lock Angelo Smith played his first Super Rugby game in front of his family for the Rebels.