Friday, June 14, 2024
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Fijians star as Highlanders beat Drua

Wingers Jona Nareki and Timoci Tavatavanawai and fullback Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens got on the score-sheet and featured strongly as the Highlanders registered 39-3 victory over the Fijian Drua in Dunedin today.

The win sees the Highlanders into the quarterfinal playoffs after they missed out last year with a ninth place finish while the result puts all the pressure on Drua to win its last match of the regular season against the Rebels in Lautoka next Saturday to book its spot in the quarters for the second time.

Nareki, who returned to action after being on the sidelines for five weeks due to a hamstring injury, was in devastating form and scored the opening try of the match in the 18th minute after getting a need feed from Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens and dotting down in the left corner.

Sam Gilbert converted for a 7-0 lead.

Nareki set up Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens for their second try in the 29th minute but Gilbert missed the conversion.

Gilbert kicked two penalties to put the hosts up 18-0  at the break.

Nareki scored his second and the Highlanders’ third try in the 50th minute and Tavatavanawai followed with the fourth nine minutes later.

Fly-half Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula scored the only points for the visitors from a penalty to take up his scoring tally to 100 points this season.

Nikora Broughton got the final try of the match in the 79th minute before Drua fullback Ilaisa Droasese was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on.

Drua players and officials together with fans who flew out to Dunedin via a charted flight return home tonight to focus on the big task against the Rebels next week.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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