Historical win for Drua at home

March 11, 2023 8:18 pm

The Fijian Drua has created history after shocking 11-time Super Rugby Pacific champions the Crusaders 25-24 at Churchill Park in Lautoka with a last-minute penalty.

With time up and the Saders leading, the Drua were awarded a penalty right in front of the sticks and Kemu Valetini was given the tough job on his debut.

Cool as ice, Valetini nailed the penalty to send the fans into a frenzy.

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It also marked Eroni Sau’s new journey in Super Rugby who also got a try on debut.

The Drua could have gotten the first points of the game after five minutes however fly half Teti Tela missed the penalty.

Crusaders got the first try through hooker Quentin McDonald who barged over from close range.

A few minutes later, McDonald got his second try from a line out drive as the visitors made a huge statement in front of a jam packed stadium.

The Drua had a chance to get a try midway into the first half but a silly mistake cost the side.

However, they made amends around the 30th minute as inform center Iosefo Masi picked up a loose ball from halfway to get the Drua’s first try.

Tela could not add the extras as they trailed 5-12.

The home side could have levelled the scores in the 36th minute after a quick tap by half back Frank Lomani who offloaded it to Apisalome Vota 5 meters away from the try line.

But Vota lost the ball while diving in for the try.

At the break, the defending champions led 12-5.

There was a bit of a momentum shift in the second half, as the Drua got off to a perfect start with a try to full back Ilaisa Droasese after some excellent offloads.

The Drua took the lead moments later after a nice cut out pass from Lomani at the base of the ruck that connected perfectly with Josefa Tamani who powered his way to the try line.

Josefa Tamani was named the Player of the Match [Source: Fijian Drua]

In the 66th minute, Eroni Sau extended the side’s lead as he got a try on debut thanks to some nice passing.

However Crusaders hit back with two quick tries and took the lead 24-22 with only a few minutes remaining.

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