Drua down Rebels in error ridden trial match

January 28, 2023 4:48 pm

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua has beaten the Melbourne Rebels 24-nil in a sloppy Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific pre-season trial at Prince Charles Park today.

The match was played in four quarters.

A scrappy affair in the first hit-up of the warm-up game, as both teams couldn’t get any points after the first quarter.

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Riddled with handling errors, the match had a lot of stop-start as players were still getting a feel of the match in front of a good crowd.

The Rebels were their own worst enemy at times with a lot of possession that couldn’t be converted into points.

But it was the Fijian Drua who finally broke the deadlock in the 3rd quarter through Kitione Salawa.

Later, the home side stretched their lead to 12-nil as Tuidraki Samusamuvodre went over for the second try.

As the heavens opened up, it became more tricky for the players as they had to ensure they kept possession.

Both teams went at it, testing their set pieces and trying out different combinations in a much needed preseason trial.

Former Fiji 7s player Iosefo Masi also got on the scoring sheet as the Drua pulled away with a few minutes from full-time.

However, Joseva Tamani had the last say as the Drua scored four unanswered tries.

The Drua coach says he is happy with their performance given it’s their first test for this year.

“I think the conditions turned sour on us at the start and we got pretty wet and slippery but it was pleasing that we stuck to our systems we worked through the process, I know they all sound cliché but for this team to be able to come out in the first game they play and stick to our systems is really pleasing.”

Melbourne Rebels coach Kevin Foote says bringing his younger players for the trial match was important as they want to build the team.

“Those conditions are tough. We have never trained in those conditions so they could have been new for them. We will analyze the game with them and of course we’ve got a young team here and we are building and we want to have a really good team.”

The Rebels who had many of the star players missing could not get any points as their young players struggled during the last two quarters.