Blues shut out Drua

June 9, 2024 8:53 am

[Source: Fijian Drua/ Facebook]

The curtains have come down on the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s 2024 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season, after going down 5-36 to the Blues in their quarterfinal clash in Auckland.

The hosts were quick off the blocks, as captain Dalton Papali’i, halfback Finlay Christie and winger Caleb Clarke grabbed a try each.

Fly half Harry Plummer added seven points from the kicking tee to see the Blues lead 22-0 at halftime.

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The Drua returned to the field with a vengeance as winger Selestino Ravutaumada sliced through the defence from halfway to score a scintillating individual try in the 43rd minute.

The Blues stopped the Drua’s momentum with a pushover try in the 63rd minute to replacement hooker Kurt Eklund from a rolling maul, extending their lead to 29-5.

The hosts then polished the win in style with a set piece move from the lineout, allowing Clarke to score his second try of the match in the 77th minute.

Drua captain Meli Derenalagi paid tribute to his team mates for making it this far in the competition.

“Even though it’s not what we wanted, but it maybe the highest position that we ever reach in the third season but we will keep on coming next season.”

Coach mick byrne says the fighting spirit of the Drua came through in the second half and he is proud of how they have fared this year.

“When they came out (in the second half), the spirit of the guys showed, at halftime you could see that they were disappointed with some of the things that had gone on out there and they wanted to set it right. They came out after halftime and did that. That’s one of the big plus with this side, the spirit they have and the way they want to play the game. It’s admirable really. There’s not a cynic in the group, they just play the game with great spirit.”

Meanwhile in other quarterfinal results, the Brumbies beat the Highlanders 32-16, the Hurricanes defeated the Rebels 47-20 and the Chiefs beat the Reds 43-21.

In the semifinals next weekend, the Blues host the Brumbies next Friday at 7:05pm while the Hurricanes take on the Chiefs next Saturday at 4:35pm.