Champs drown in Drua waters

March 9, 2024 8:56 pm

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua defeated defending champions the Crusaders for the second successive year and on the same ground.

Our Drua sailed through 20-10 to record its first win this season.

The Crusaders were scoreless in the second spell.

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It was a bit scrappy from both sides in the first 10 minutes.

The Drua made a few loose carries and some poor decision-making while young first five Isaiah Armstrong Ravula had a strong start.

A 12th minute penalty to flyhalf Taha Kemara and a Sevuloni Reece try from a lineout set-piece six minutes later saw the visitors leading 10-nil.

Two clean breaks from Ravula and Tevita Ikanivere were poorly executed before the Drua flyhalf slotted a penalty in the 23rd minute.

However, the Drua finally got some momentum when put together a few phases then Frank Lomani threw a long pass to Selestino Ravutaumada who beat three Crusaders defenders to score.

Skipper Meli Derenalagi knew this was their day.

“Awesome job from the boys today, we talked about our frustration coming in on Monday the boys were frustated and dissapointed with the two previous losses. So when we came in the gym was quiet, everyone was just getting to work and from there I knew the boys are hungry to get their first win this week.”

Ravutaumada received the ball in the Crusaders 22 meter but beat Heremia Murray in a one on one situation then sliced through between Chay Fihaki and Willie Heinz.

Ravula converted the try for a 10-all scores at halftime.

Coach Mick Byrne says the win was expected infront of an amazing home crowd.

“As Dume said, in the beginning of the week the boys could tell they were ready to go.”

The Drua brought the crowd to their feet when Frank Lomani sneaked in to score four minutes after the break following some patient build up as the home side led 17-10.

There was a moment shift for the Drua with more possessions while the defending champions had more questions than answers.

The champs were not at their best and lost many lineout throws.

Ravula sealed the win with a penalty in the last five minutes.