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No Time To Delay Getting A Win

The battle for a spot in the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific playoff continues to­night at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

Swire Shipping Fijian forwards (from left) Livai Natave (back to camera), Leone Rotuisolia (obscured), Zuriel Togiatama, Elia Canakaivata and Mesake Doge (back to camera) during training in Sydney, Australia, on May 18, 2023. Photo: Fijian Drua

The battle for a spot in the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific playoff continues to­night at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua is at ninth spot on the points table and desperately need a win to get back to the top eight. The Waratahs are already in sixth spot and an upset loss to the Drua could be disastrous in their campaign.

This is a must-win situation for both teams.

According to the Super Rugby Pa­cific stats there is nothing much separating the two teams. The dif­ference so far, for the Waratahs is that their strength lies in their de­fence and lineouts.

The hosts have 86.6 per cent in the Tackles Won compared to the Drua’s 83.9 per cent and in the Lineouts Won, they have 89 per cent while the Drua is at 79 per cent.

The Drua’s running style has seen them, record 254 in Defenders Beaten while the Waratahs has 187. Also, the Drua has made 8971 Me­tres Carried compared to the Wara­tahs’ 7625.

The Meli Derenalagi-captained side must not rely on winning their final home matches against Moana Pasifika and Reds to push them through to the playoff spot.

This is Super Rugby and anything can happen either in Lautoka or Suva.

The Drua could start it off tonight by beating the Waratahs and it will make things a bit easier in their two final home matches. For the Drua players it’s all about rising to the occasion and making things count. They’ve got to start firing from the opening whistle and avoid playing catch-up rugby.

Yes, it’s not going to be easy to beat the Waratahs on their home ground but it is not an impossible task for the Drua.

Now, let’s take a look at three Drua players who must lift their game in tonight’s clash.


He seemed to have lost his form af­ter a splendid performance against the Rebels in Suva. Poor handling mistakes, taking wrong options, not running his lines and indi­vidual play has marred his game. Droasese has got to put all that be­hind him and bring out the class he is renowned for when donning the No.15 jumper.


Back from injury, this is his chance to make the first five-eighth position his. Muntz had a good start this year but a hand injury saw him being sidelined. With Teti Tela not up to his best, this is Muntz’s mo­ment. His kicking game has im­proved and now he must drive the backline from No.10.


Tonight, he comes face to face with one of the world’s best openside flankers, Michael Hooper. Tamani has been moved around from blind­side flanker, lock and No.8, this sea­son. He’s our best bet for the No.6 spot and faces his biggest test in trying to contain the experienced Hooper. If Tamani, does a good job then surely he could be one of the contenders for the Flying Fijian jumper in the July Test matches and the Rugby World Cup, which gets underway on September 8.

 Story By:  Leone Cabenatabua

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