15-03-2023 TEIVOVO Super Rugby Pacific Podcast S01E03 SuperRugbyPacific #SuperRugby #TEIVOVOsports #FijianDrua Rugby



Talofa lava, Malo lelei’i Bula vinaka and welcome to TEIVOVOrugby Super Rugby podcast Season 01 Episode 03 – I’m Culden Kamea.

This is my weekly podcast on the Fijian Drua, Moana Pasifika and other teams in the Super Rugby Pacific 2023 competition, plus Team Fijiana of course when they start defending their Super W title in Australia this year.

One game made Super Rugby Round 3: The Fijian Drua was absolutely brilliant crunching the Crusaders 24-25 at home in Lautoka, Fiji on Saturday.

Willed on by a loud, proud and colourful capacity crowd, they played scintillating, open-running rugby, with their special mix of speed, handling skills and power, prevailing over the structured style of the Kiwis.

Recounting the last 10 minutes of the game; the Fijian Drua was leading 22-12 when flying Wing, Selestino Ravatumada made another rash tackle of an opposition player in the air – the same error that he committed last week against the Tahs in Melbourne where he got a yellow card, and he was lucky to remain on the field here.

Anyway, the Crusaders kicked the resulting penalty deep into the Fijian Drua red zone from where the Drua hold out two Crusaders lineout drives.

However, under sustained Crusaders pressure now, from the 73rd minute, Sevu Reece was very noticeable in the buildup to his try, first attacking in midfield where he was manhandled and turned back.

Reece then joined the ruck to protect the ball and then runs around left to receive the ball and scores a crucial try to get the Crusaders back in the game at 22-17.

Talk about leadership!

A 75th minute penalty against the Fijian Drua live wire flanker, Salawa at the ruck from kick off allows the Crusaders to again kick for touch and drive over halfway from the lineout.

They then attack down the right hand blindside, led by who else – Sevu Reece with a 10M dab and a deft kick which bounced close to the Drua try line, with one of the retiring Drua players touching the ball in an offside position.

From the ensuing penalty, the Crusaders execute another 5M lineout drive and score a try at 77minutes and 28 seconds to draw level 22-22.

Under immense pressure at 78.38, with the crowd loudly jeering, young Crusader Fergus Burke sloted home the conversion for a 24-22 lead.

The Fijian Drua kicked-off at 79.05 and it’s a little too deep but high and into the sun, a Crusader player knocking it on for a scrum.

It’s 80.03 and from a solid scrum just outside the Crusaders 22M and to the right of the posts, replacement Fijian Drua Halfback, Matawalu darts right and passes to Fullback Droasese who goes to ground out wide.

A wild pass from the ruck is recovered by replacement inside Centre, Ravouvou who drives forward, gaining good ground.

At 80.45 with the ruck in motion, Halfback Matawalu called the Ref’s attention to the Crusaders infringing and he signals advantage to the Fijian Drua, who smartly attempt a drop goal, but replacement flyhalf, Lemeki Valetini on the field for only a few minutes, narrowly misses.

At 82.09 Lemeki Valetini converts the penalty advantage and the crowd goes absolutely nuts, as only a Fiji rugby crowd can!

As the TV commentator said, “What a finish, its only Round 3 but it’s like a grand final.”

What a win. All the Crusaders were gracious in defeat, they knew they had lost one hell of a game – no excuses – the Fijian Drua had beaten them hands down.

Fiji-born All Blacks, Sevu Reece and George Bower were outstanding for the Crusaders in front of family and friends.

Last time they played, in 2022 in Christchurch, the Crusaders crushed the Fijian Drua 61-3, so what a turnaround.

There were a number of standout players for the Fijian Drua who put their hand up for MVP – midfielders, Apisai Vota and Iosefo Masi, plus Eroni Sau on the left Wing.

Loose forward “Smokin’ Joe” Joseva Tamani also put in a big shift, but sparkling Halfback, Frank Lomani was the best on the day with his crisp service, clean passing and inspiring general play.

In other Super Rugby Round 3 games: the Blues 25-19 Hurricanes, the Reds 17-23 Brumbies and Moana Pasifika 18-21 Western Force.

In Super Rugby Round 4 this weekend – starting Friday – the Hurricanes host the Tahs. On Saturday the Chiefs versus the Rebels in Hamilton and the Blues take on the Crusaders in Auckland, followed by the Brumbies against Moana Pasifika in Canberra.

On Sunday, the Highlanders host the Force down South and the Queensland Reds tackle the mighty Fijian Drua in Brisbane.

For TEIVOVOrugby, I’m Culden Kamea.

#SuperRugbyPacific #SuperRugby #TEIVOVOsports #TeivovoRugby #TeivovoDigital #rugby #FijiRugby #rugbyunion #Raka #team #rugbytraining #sports #Fiji #FRU

#SuperRugbyPacific #SuperRugby #TEIVOVOsports #TeivovoRugby #TeivovoDigital #FijianDrua #rugby #FijiRugby #rugbyunion #Raka #team #rugbytraining #sports #Fiji #FRU #Fijian_Drua

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