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Vunivalu sees red as Drua wins at home

Winger Suliasi Vunivalu was sent off as the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua registered a 28-19 crucial victory over the Reds in Round 13 of Super Rugby Pacific in Suva today.

The hosts needed a win in the fixture to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive while the Reds chased victory to seal a home playoff spot.

Suliasi Vunivalu 2

Drua started the match attacking and were awarded a penalty try in the 4th minute and Vunivalu was sent to the sin-bin for dangerous play.

Captain Tevita Ikanivere bulldozed in for Drua’s second try four minutes later but Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula failed with the conversion.

Queensland hit back through Floyd Aubrey in the 11th minute and Lawson Creighton converted to narrow the scores to 12-7.

Tevita Ikanivere6

A penalty successfully taken by Armstrong-Ravula opened up an eight point lead for Drua.

Creighton got the second try for the visitors in the 24th minute, picking up a mismatch between two props and split the Drua wall before touching down.

He converted his own try to narrow the deficit by just a point.

SELESTINO RAVUTAUMADA 2

The Drua extended their lead further just before the break with Kemu Valetini kicking a penalty from out-wide.

Drua led 18-14 at the break and came out strongly in the second half, winning turnovers and keep possession of the ball for longer periods.

Captain Ikanivere went over for his second try of the day in the 48th minute after a lineout steal saw Selesitino Ravutaumada break through and set him up.

Simione Kuruvoli 2

While the try was being scored, Vunivalu again got into the bad books of referee Angus Gardner and given his marching orders, leaving the Reds with only 14 players on the field for the remainder of the encounter.

Despite a man short, the Reds applied the pressure and replacement hooker George Blake crossed over while James O’Connor’s conversion sailed wide.

ISAIAH ARMSTRONG RAVULA 2

Armstrong-Ravula had the final say of the match with a successful penalty in injury time and denied the Reds a losing bonus point.

Drua (1-15): Jone Koroiduadua, Tevita Ikanivere (c), Mesake Doge, Mesake Vocevoce, Isoa Nasilasila, Etonia Waqa, Kitione Salawa, Elia Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, Epeli Momo, Waqa Nalaga, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese

Reserves: Mesulame Dolokoto, Emosi Tuqiri, Samu Tawake, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Vilive Miramira, Peni Matawalu, Kemu Valetini, Taniela Rakuro

Reds (1-15): Peni Ravai, Josh Nasser, Zane Nonggorr, Ryan Smith, Cormac Daly, Liam Wright (co-c), Fraser McReight, John Bryant, Tate McDermott (co-c), Lawson Creighton, Floyd Aubrey, Hunter Paisami, Taj Annan, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell

Reserves: George Blake, Sef Fa’agase, Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, Seru Uru, Joe Brial, Kalani Thomas, James O’Connor, Tim Ryan

Referee: Angus Gardner

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

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