Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Moana Pasifika posts historic win over Drua

Moana Pasifika celebrated a historic 39-36 win over the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua in their Super Rugby Pacific Round 2 clash at AAMI Stadium in Melbourne tonight.

Sione Mafileo scored the first try of the match in the 12th minute but the Fijians hit back after three minute and managed to tie up the scores through a Elia Canakaivata try.

Moana Pasifika grabbed the lead a couple of minutes later via a penalty but Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula managed to level the scores again with his kicking boots.

Drua winger Selesitino Ravutaumada was sin-binned in the 37th minute for dangerous play and with an extra man on the park, Moana Pasifika scored a try through Lotu Inisi to lead 15-8 at the break.

Henry Tafu’s try for Moana Pasifika straight after the commencement of the second spell further extended their lead before Ravutaumada returned to the field and produced a sheer class of magic and connected well with a flick pass from Captain Meli Derenalagi off a lineout to score Drua’s second try.

Series of mistakes by the Drua allowed Sam Moli and Abraham Pole to score two tries in a space of three minutes (54th and 57th) to open up the lead.

Indiscipline by Moana Pasifika resulted in  Nigel Ah Wong copping a red card in the 55th minute and things went from bad to worse in the 68th minute when veteran Sekope Kepu was sin-binned, giving Drua a 2 extra players advantage and more attacking opportunities.

Canakaivata managed to cross over for his second try of the night in the 61st minute before Epeli Momo and debutant Iliesa Ratuva Junior followed with two late scores and Armstrong-Ravula with successful conversions to narrow the gap to only 3 points and bring the fans to the edge of their seats with less than three minutes remaining.

With a penalty awarded to them a minute before fulltime, the Drua had the chance to kick three points to level the scores and force the game into extra-time, but instead elected to run the ball and their chances were blown away as Moana Pasifika players committed heavily in the tackles and kicked the ball out from a turnover.

The Fijian Drua head back home tomorrow to prepare for their first home match of the season which will be against the Crusaders in Lautoka next Saturday.

Moana Pasifika: 15 Danny Toara, 14 Nigel Ah Wong, 13 Henry Taefu, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Viliami Fine, 10 William Havili, 9 Ere Enari, 8 Lotu Inisi, 7 Sione Havili Talitui (captain), 6 Jacob Norris, 5 Allan Craig, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sione Mafielo, 2 Sama Malolo, 1 Abraham Pole.

Replacements: 16 Samiuela Moli, 17 Sateki Latu, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Ola Tauelangi, 20 Irie Papuni, 21 Aisea Halo, 22 Christian Lealiifano, 23 Kyren Taumoefolau.

Fijian Drua: 15 Isikeli Rabitu, 14 Selestino Ravutaumada, 13 Iosefo Masi, 12 Apisalome Vota, 11 Epeli Momo, 10 Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Meli Derenalagi (captain), 7 Ella Canakaivata, 6 Etonia Waqa, 5 Isoa Nasilasila, 4 Mesake Vocevoce, 3 Mesake Doge, 2 Tevita Ikanivere, 1 Livai Natave.

Replacements: 16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 1 Haereiti Hetet, 18 Jone Koroiduadua, 19 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Simione Kuruvoli, 22 Kemu Valetini, 23 Junior Ratuva.

Referee: James Mabey

Assistant Referees: Damon Murphy, Mike Winter

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

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