Win over Rebels cap off challenging week for Fijian Drua

The Fijian Drua’s 31-26 win over the Rebels in their first Super Pacific Rugby home game last week was a fitting outcome for a side and management that two days preceding the encounter did not think they could get the team out to Sunshine Coast to play.

Massive flooding in South East Queensland and Northern NSW after periods of continuous rain blocked off roads, that at one point Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said they considered arranging for helicopters to transport the team.

“At the time we thought that was the only way we could get the team up, and it was going to be expensive,” Thorburn said.

“Thankfully in the end there was a narrow gap and we were able to get them out in a convoy of cars and minibuses on Wednesday evening. In one-hour’s notice, I think the team drove for a 4-5 hr drive but got there and we were able to play the game.”

The traveling team, the Rebels which had flown across by plane, had to circle for two hours before landing because of the weather.

“It was just an extraordinary challenging week. It was also our first home ever for the Drua. We think in those challenging circumstances, we were able to really put up a good show. People watching would not have been able to notice the difference which is a measure of success. We are very proud of the team off the field in making that happen and we are very proud of the team for making it happen on the field.”

Thorburn made special mention of the management team for making the necessary changes to ensure the game went ahead despite the change in venue.

“That in itself is a very big logistical thing, because of all the arrangements around ticketing, around signage, around broadcasting were already in place and had to be pivoted to a completely new venue with different specifications, different types of fences, different quantities of tickets and the team did a fantastic job in getting ready for that.”

The win over Rebels saw the Drua move up three places on the rankings to ninth ahead of the Highlanders and Rebels who are equal with a point each from three games, with the Moana Drua bringing up the tail end, without a point, but having only played one game.

The Swire Shipping sponsored Drua have six more home games, but not this week as they play away with the Queensland Reds hosting them at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 12 March.

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