Monday, June 17, 2024
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Galant Drua go down fighting in Canberra

The Brumbies doused off a fiery Swire Shipping Fijian Drua assault to register a 43-28 win in their Super Rugby Pacific clash in Canberra tonight.

The Brumbies settled in first, and after five minutes a quick break outwide set-up blindside wing Ben O’Donnell through for the first try of the match with the conversion away from pivot Noah Lolesio.

Quick play from the Brumbies and a lucky bounce put O’Donnell through on 14 minutes to score his second try soon after with Lolesio adding his first points from outwide.

Brumbies number eight Pete Samu extended the lead on 22 minutes off the back off the scrum on the five metre Drua line with some hard running to break outside centre Iosefo Masi’s tackle to crash over with Lolesio converting on 24 minutes.

The Drua finally struck back through halfback Peni Matawalu of a line-out and hardwork upfront, giving him a gap to go over over on 36 minutes with the conversion through from fly-half Teti Tela.

Multiple penalities to the Drua and the Brumbies going one man down with one in the sinbin, saw them capitalise to score a second try through Tela who converted to send them to half-time trailing 19-14.

The Brumbies extended their lead soon after with an unstoppable maul off the Drua five metre.

Hooker Lachlan Lonergan crashed over to extend their lead with the conversion missed on 45 minutes.

The Drua slung phases together, and good vision from Tela for a precision kick outwide to find Masi who put the ball down under the sticks with Tela adding the two points to close the gap to three points with 31 minutes to go.

The homeside retaliated almost immediately with a quick fire trie to openside winger Andy Muirhead with Lolesio converting now nearing the halfway mark of the second 40 minutes.

The Drua kept in the fight and utilising quick ball from inside their own 22 metre had inside centre Kalaveti Ravouvou to dive under the sticks with Tela converting on 60 minutes.

The Drua almost took the lead through Leone Rotuisolia but were denied after an early handling error.

The Drua kept up the pressure but recycled ball off a five metre line-out on the Brumbies line, had them unfortunately lose the ball in the breakdown.

Discipline crept up on the Drua pack and a fallen maul had the Brumbies milk a penalty try with seven minutes left also putting Joseva Tamani in the sinbin for a technicality in the maul.

The Brumbies put the nail in the coffin with a final try on the 78th minute off the back of the scrum with skipper Nic White shooting the ball out-wide to O’Donnell to dive in the corner for his hat-trick and final play of the game.

Brumbies: James Slipper, Lachlan Lonergan, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Rory Scott, Pete Samu, Ryan Lonergan, Noah Lolesio, Ben O’Donnell, Ollie Sapsford, Len Ikitau, Andy Muirhead, Tom Wright Reserves: Billy Pollard, Blake Schoupp, Rhys Van Nek, Nick Frost, Luke Reimer, Nic White, Jack Debreczeni, Declan Meredith

Drua: Livai Natave, Zuriel Togiatama, Samuela Tawake, Isoa Nasilasila, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Joseva Tamani, Kitione Salawa, Elia Canakaivata, Peni Matawalu, Teti Tela (c), Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Iosefo Masi, Eroni Sau, Kitione Taliga Reserves: Mesulame Dolokoto, Haereiti Hetet, Jone Koroiduadua, Leone Rotuisolia, Rusiate Nasove, Philip Baselala, Michael Naitokani, Ilaisa Droasese

Noa Biudole
Noa Biudole
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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