Drua falls in Melbourne

March 2, 2024 8:06 pm

[Source: Fijian Drua]

A brave fightback by the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua was not enough after going down to Moana Pasifika 36-39 in Melbourne.

This is after the Drua whose game was riddled with errors lost to Moana Pasifika in the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific.

The Drua could’ve won the game with only four minutes left and the Fijians behind by three points but poor decision-making by centre Iosefo Masi didn’t help their cause.

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After making a clean line break, Masi had and an unmarked Selestino Ravutaumada beside him but he failed to pass the ball on time.

Elia Canakaivata scored the first try for the Drua in the 15th minute after Moana was leading 5-nil.

The Navunisole villager from Tailevu was on hand to receive a pass from Ravutaumada who broke out from their 22-meter line.

However, Moana Pasifika slotted another penalty for an 8-5 lead before Isaiah Armstrong Ravula locked it up with a three-pointer.

It was a bit messy and untidy for the Drua at times but they also showed glimpses of their flair on a few occasions.

Ravutaumada was sent off for 10 minutes after being penalized for foul play in the 37th minute.

It could’ve been 8-all at halftime but the Drua lost their own lineout throw, Moana Pasifika capitalized and four phases later, number eight Lotu Inisi ran in to score a converted try.

It was not a great start for the Mick Byrne coached side as they failed kick the ball out from their 22 with Moana taking advantage and another try to Nigel Ah Wong.

Despite playing with a man short and trailing 8-22, the Drua kept working hard and was rewarded when Ravutaumada dived under the sticks following a brilliant set piece move off a lineout.

The Pasifika team lost Ah Wong for 10 minutes after copping a yellow card before it was upgraded to red.

It made no difference with another two successive tries to Moana thanks to the Drua mistakes.

Trailing 36-15, the Drua struck again through Canakaivata for his second after taking a quick tap close to the try line.

Momentum slowly shifted towards the Drua after former Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu was sent off for 10 minutes for professional foul.

With an extra two players on the field, the Drua went in again for another try to winger Epeli Momo before Ravutaumada broke loose from his 22 to set up a try on debut for Junior Ratuva.

Ravutaumada could’ve scored the winning try if only Masi released the pass on time in the 75th minute.

The Drua will host Crusaders next Saturday in Lautoka.