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Drua claims bonus point win over Rebels

The free-flowing Swire Shipping Fijian Drua secured a bonus point and claimed a second home win beating the Melbourne Rebels 38-28 during their Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific clash at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva on Saturday.

The hosts struck early with two quick fire tries in as many minutes to fullback Ilaisa Droasese followed by an intercept try to Selestino Ravutaumada in under five minutes.

Fly-half Teti Tela added one conversion.

The Drua weathered a fight back from the Rebels who were let down by misjudged kicks from centre Reece Hodge.

The Drua scored their third through blindside flanker Vilive Miramira who was on the receiving end from some brilliant play inside to dive in the corner with Tela converting from outwide near midway into the first half.

The Rebels finally clicked after the Drua were given repetitive penalties, and after number of phases, hooker Alex Mafi crashed under the sticks with Hodge converting.

Drua retaliated immediately with two more successive tries to outside centre Iosefo Masin and openside flanker Kitione Salawa with Tela adding a conversion to give them 26 point buffer with 10 minutes left in the first half.

The Drua held the scoreline to half-time.

The Rebels struck first in the opening minutes with Wallabies flyer Andrew Kellaway finding an overlap in the corner to break a number of tackles and score with Hodge converting with 44 minutes gone.

The Rebels picked up performance and pressed the Drua to play in their own half.

Multuple opportunities went to waste in the face of the ferocious defensive sets of the home team.

The Drua got back another try to extend the lead with halfback Peni Matawalu spotting space outback.

Hard chase from the forwards saw loose man Elia Canakaivata pounce to crash over the tryline with the conversion away and the game midway of the final 40 minutes.

The Rebels pressured again and with hard work upfront and freeing space outwide had flyhalf Carter Gordon over to score with Hodge converting once more with 13 minutes left in the game.

The Rebels played to the final whistle and in overtime managed a fourth try to forward Pone Fa’amausili with Hodge converting the final points of the match.

Fijian Drua: Emosi Tuqiri, Tevita Ikanivere, Jone Tiko, Isoa Nasilasila, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Vilive Miramira, Kitione Salawa, Meli Derenalagi (c), Frank Lomani, Teti Tela, Eroni Sau, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese.

Reserves: Zuriel Togiatama, Livai Natave, Kaloipasi Uluilakepa, Joseva Tamani, Ella Canakaivata, Peni Matawalu, Michael Naitokani, Taniela Rakuro.

Melbourne Rebels: Matt Gibbon, Alex Mafi, Sam Talakai, Tuaina Taii Tualima, Josh Canham, Josh Kemeny, Brad Wilkin (c), Vaiolini Ekuasi, Ryan Louwrens, Carter Gordon, Monty Ioane, Stacey Ili, Reece Hodge, Lachie Anderson, Joe Pincus.

Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Cabous Eloff, Pone Fa’amausili, Angelo Smith, Daniel Maiava, James Tuttle, David Feliuai, Andrew Kellaway.

Noa Biudole
Noa Biudole
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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