Fijian Drua edge Rebels in Super Rugby preseason

The Fijian Drua made their Super Rugby Pacific intentions known, scoring four tries to edge the Rebels 28-26 in a warm-up match last night, an outcome both team skipper Nemani Nagusa and coach Mick Byrne were pleased with.

“It’s good to get away with a win. We thank God for giving us this opportunity to finally play a game before the first round next week. I am very proud of the boys how they set up today…against a team that has been playing the competition for a while,” Nagusa said.

Byrne expressed the same sentiments adding that the win, although by a short margin, was reward for the squad which has worked “really really hard” since they assembled three months ago and some of whom were having their first hit-out since October 2021.

“I am very happy for the boys, they worked really really hard today. We got away to a good start put a score on the board we gave it away and then we put another score on the board. They just kept trying and then they hung in there in the middle of the game when it got tough. They just kept getting up and towards the end of the game there we had a few boys going down with cramps and they just kept working. Their opportunity came with a great little try down the sideline.

“We’re just happy with the effort we had today. It is a preseason game, but it’s just great. The effort was there and the boys are going to be happy with the performance. “

The game provided Byrne an opportunity to identify gaps that they need to work on before the competition starts properly next week.

“We will just keep monitoring performance and the scoreboard will take care of itself.”

Both Nagusa and Byrne are appealing with supporters and Fijians who will be in and around Sydney next Friday to head to the game to watch and cheer the side on when they take on the Waratahs at the CommBank Stadium in Parramatta at 8.45 pm (Fiji Time).

Hooker Tevita Ikanivere opened the scoring against the Rebels within minutes from the start. Baden Kerr added the extras.

However, the Rebels hit back, before Kitione Ratu reclaimed the lead for the Drua 14-7. The Rebels went on to score three more tries, but it was the Drua that had the last say with two more tries – their fourth try and final points by winger Vinaya Habosi who scored a length of the field try, and Caleb Muntz converting to seal the win.

The Drua will meet the Rebels again in round three, one of the Fijian franchise’s home games, scheduled for 4 March at the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, before the Rebels host the Drua in round six at the AAMI Park in Melbourne.

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