Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Fiji Drua franchise triumph over the weekend

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Fiji Drua franchise triumph
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

It was a weekend to remember for both the Drua’s mens and womens team. Fijian Drua pulled a major upset in front of their home fans in Fiji against the Hurricanes, while the Fijiana Drua defended their Super Rugby W title against the Queensland Reds. The Drua franchise reminded everyone on the weekend just why they’re a force to be reckoned with


Fijian Drua pulled off yet another major upset in Super Rugby Pacific on the weekend while their women’s counterparts Fijiana Drua became back to back champions in the Super Rugby W competition in Australia.

For the second time this season, Fijian Drua have toppled a New Zealand powerhouse in Fiji – this time the Hurricanes – making it their third home win of the season.

The homeside proved too strong for the ‘canes, closing out a tight contest with a 24-27 victory. After slaying the Crusaders two months ago, Drua used their home advantage to secure the win much to the delight of the fans.

Replacement playmaker Kemu Valetini, brother of Wallabies star Rob Valetini was the hero of the day, slotting two crucial penalty kicks that took the home team to the win. It was a deja vu moment for Valetini who also unleashed the winning kick that defeated defending champions Crusaders earlier in the season.

“We always knew it was going to be tough, and we just weren’t good enough,” Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea said after the encounter.

“The Drua were awesome, they were very dangerous and very scary.”

Standouts for the home side included Meli Derenalagi, whose second-half try put the Drua close to the Hurricanes when the visitors looked to be getting away. The try from Derenalagi and subsequent conversion put the scoreline at 24-21 with the Drua in the hunt. Two late penalty kicks Valetini put the Drua ahead as the home fans cheered their heroes home.

The victory is a well-timed boost for Fijian Drua, with the victory bringing them right back into the race for a spot in the top eight.

Vitalina Naikore of Fiji scores a try. Photo: Getty


Across the Tasman, Fijiana Drua have won their second Super Rugby W crown despite the odds stacked against them.

It was a well deserved result for the team, who earlier this year suffered serious financial problems during their season. The double champs went up against the Queensland Reds in Townsville, coming away with a 38-30 win.

The two teams previously met a fortnight ago, with Reds pulling away with the win on that occasion. However, Drua came to play come the grand final matchup, showcasing just why they are the defending champs.

With the game in close reach for both teams, Drua scored 24 points under just ten minutes in the second half to put the game out of reach. A late comeback by the Reds proved too little too late.

Fijiana Drua captain Bitila Tawake was extremely proud of her troops, especially having to endure a tough season this year.

Tawake spoke on the importance of their team discussions the week before on being able to create history as a team.

“It’s like winning the World Cup to us back at home,” Tawake says.

“It means so much to us that we can do something big.”

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