Super Rugby Update – Drua and Moana Pasifika

PHOTO: Scott Gardiner/Getty Images

The Fijiana Drua continue their unbeaten run in the Super W rugby competition as they blitzed their way to a convincing victory over the Western Force, winning 45-17 on Saturday.

The Drua scored seven tries in the first half at Leichhardt Oval and were too quick and physical for the Force right from the start.

The Force did lift after trailing 45-0 at the interval, scoring three tries in the second stanza to bring a measure of respectability to the scoreline.

Force Captain Trilleen Pomare rallied her side and reminded the women why they were there and who they were representing – as the Western Australia ladies bravely fought hard to the last whistle. 

The Fijiana Drua will play their next match against the NSW Waratahs Women’s, who are also on a formidable run in the competition. Like the Fijiana, the Waratahs have won 3 out of 3 matches so far and will be looking to keep their winning streak.

Currently, the teams are locked in at 15 points apiece on the competition ladder, so this adds to the excitement as the team’s clash on Friday, 1 April at 12pm FT – although the venue for their fixture is yet to be determined.

Interestingly, across the pond, the Waikato Chiefs Manawa won the inaugural Sky Super Rugby Aupiki title in New Zealand, as they thumped the Auckland Blues Women’s side 35 points to 0.

Laced with so much talent the Chiefs Manawa proved to be too good for their opponents as they finished the season with an unbeaten record.

Fijian Drua men unlucky

In contrast in the men’s competition, the Fijian Drua were unlucky once more as they went down against Western Force in another thriller of a match.

The Western Force snatched the victory from the Fiji Drua by kicking a penalty after the full-time siren to claim a 20-18 win in their Super Rugby Pacific clash in Sydney.

Bayley Kuenzle slotted the kick in the 85th minute, after a prolonged stay in the Drua’s defensive 22 at Leichhardt Oval earned a penalty for a high tackle awarded by referee Nic Berry.

It got the Force out of jail, having thrown away a 17-8 lead early in the second half to trail 18-17 until the late heroics.

Drua’s Kalaveti Ravouvou and Vinaya Hombosi llooked to have set their side up to win with both in electric form.

Ravouvou’s scything run early in the second half allowed Frank Lomani to score, providing the spark they needed to get into the game.

After Lomani’s try, the Fijians kept pressing with strong carries inside the Force 22, eventually settling for a penalty to take an 18-17 lead on 56 minutes.

The Drua showed no signs of losing hope and kept pressing forward, but a final penalty against them was just what the Force needed to slot in the win.

Next round, we will see the Drua take on the Melbourne Rebels again on Friday 25 March, at AAMI Park 8:45pm FT.

Moana Pasifika’s slow start

Fellow newcomers Moana Pasifika suffered another devastating loss in their Super Rugby campaign to the Waikato Chiefs, 59 points to 12.

Although the Chiefs were missing some All Blacks members of their team due to COVID-19, they still managed to put on a masterclass performance.

Moana Pasifika were playing only their second match in five rounds in their debut season because three of their matches have had to be rescheduled due to COVID-related issues. This has been a major factor against the newly formed franchise this season.

Still on the hunt for their first victory, the Moana Pasifika will take on the Wellington Hurricanes in their next fixture on 25 March, at Mt Smart Stadium 6:05pm FT.