Super Rugby Pacific

Drua beat 14-man Reds

May 18, 2024 4:53 pm

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua is still in the hunt for a Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific quarterfinals spot after beating the Queensland Reds 28-19 at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

Our Drua was awarded a penalty try inside the first five minutes after Suliasi Vunivalu used his right foot to trip Kitione Salawa who was on his way to the tryline.

Vunivalu copped a yellow card for the offense.

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Salawa was again at it when he won a penalty at the breakdown which the side built on, just a few phases later captain Tevita Ikanivere brushed aside two Reds defenders to score following some brilliant work from flyhalf Isaiah Armstrong Ravula and flanker Etonia Waqa.

The Reds replied with a converted try due to a poor exit play by the home side.

Ravula extended the Drua’s lead to 15-7 after he successfully slotted a penalty.

Just when the Drua had some forward momentum the visitors spoiled it for them when first five Lawsen Creighton sold a dummy the Fijians bought as he ran in to score between the sticks.

Young Waqa Nalaga had a solid 38 minutes in his Drua debut but he came off due to an injury and was replaced by Kemu Valetini.

Valetini nailed a 52 meters penalty on the stroke of halftime to push his side further to 18-14.

The Drua knew they needed to start well in the second spell and their skipper Ikanivere crashed over for his second try thanks to some great work by Selestino Ravutaumada.

However, the Reds were reduced to 14 men for 20 minutes after Vunivalu got his second yellow card followed by a red.

Despite the numerical advantage, the Drua failed to register any more points until the final minute when Ravula converted another penalty.

The Reds managed to score another try with six minutes left.

The Drua play Highlanders next weekend in Dunedin.