Fijian Drua vs Crusaders Match Report by Culden Kamea



All is well in Fiji again after a tumultuous week, after the Fijian Drua
lit up Churchill Park in Lautoka yesterday with a powerful display by their
forwards, matching and then outmuscling the best that Scott Barrett and his
Crusaders could throw at them for a solid 20-10 win in front of another
heaving full house.

The Fijian Drua tight five were simply outstanding in contact, tidy and
tough as the Crusaders tried to impose their take-no-prisoners style on the
game from the outset on a muggy afternoon.

A couple of times in the first half, just as the Drua were building
momentum nicely, over-eager handling lost the ball and the advantage of
pressure, but by then the men from New Zealand’s deep south must have known
that they were in for another tough day at the office.

Fijian Drua halfback Frank Lomani was in the thick of everything; tackling
like a demon, his crisp and accurate passing setting the backs alight.

Outside him of course, rising star the Fiji fans are just beginning to know
– Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula was brilliant; his shots at goal never looked
like missing, plus his running game, decision making and flat fast accurate
passes making him a gem the Crusaders would have wished they could have
hung on to.

Mark my words, this young man is a rugby superstar in the making for Fiji.
And to think, we still have Caleb Muntz to return as back-up flyhalf, plus
a noticeably bulked up Valetini able to cover inside Centre.

That’s exactly where Apisalome Vota had his hands full, dealing with the
Crusaders burly Aumua, while Iosefo Masi was always a threat with his
running game, and crowd favourite Selestino Ravataumada just keeps on
getting better.

At the end of the scrap, Frank Lomani thoroughly deserved his “Man of the
Match” Award, and big Mick Byrne would have been a happy Coach.

In other games: Rebels 29-23 Moana Pasifika, Highlanders 23-21 NSW
Waratahs, Brumbies 22-19 Western Force, Hurricanes 29-21 Blues and the Reds
25-19 Chiefs.

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