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Byrne happy with win, credits coaches

Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne was over the moon after the side’s historic 25-24 win over champs Crusaders in Round 3 of the Super Rugby Pacific at Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday.

“I’m just really proud of the way the boys played today. Full credit to the Crusaders, you can see why they won the last six. A hostile environment for them and they came back but again chose that growth that we’ve had over the last 12 months and our ability to absorb that again and then win the game, really proud of the way they played and, again, really well led by Tevita.”

Byrne said the players believed in themselves and the Swire Shipping sponsored side lifted their performance after their loss to the NSW Waratahs last week.

“We just talked about the growth in our team and we know we didn’t play 80 minutes. Last week, we talked about circumstances that cost us points and what wasn’t our fitness. It was just the belief in ourselves that played 80 minutes. We taught ourselves that we can do it and we did.”

“The last 15 minutes of the first half last week showed us what we can do and I think it was a matter of coming out and playing that sort of rugby. This week we managed to keep 15 on the field, and that’s what we can do. It’ll just be an encouragement for our program in what we are doing and especially for our players.”

He also credited the Drua coaches for helping the side get their first home win of the year in the Shop N Save season.

“It’s huge, the credit goes to the coaches, the great red jacket has been enormous in the pre-season. They have done a tremendous amount of work, getting the players prepared for this sort of footy. Players do the work they need to credit, those coaches who have worked hard and put some great features together that have left them alone or preseason and I keep working with them and keep educating them, keep grinding so that victory today is dedicated to all of us.”

“Full credit to the Crusaders, they came back. It was a great spectacle for our fans that turned up today. The  boys deserve to enjoy themselves and really, except for the fact that they’ve had a great win today.”

Drua will take on the Queensland Reds in their next match on Saturday.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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