This will be the first-ever Super Rugby meeting between the Fijian Drua and Chiefs. This will be Fijian Drua’s second Super Rugby match in Fiji; their inaugural game on home soil was a 27-24 loss to the Highlanders (30 April 2022).
The Chiefs have won their last seven matches in succession when facing opposition for the first time on the day, last losing such a fixture in April 1997 (27-13 v Cheetahs).
The Fijian Drua have won only one of their last 10 Super Rugby matches (L9), a 34-19 win against Moana Pasifika (14 May 2022); they have conceded 60+ points in each of their last two defeats.
- The Chiefs have won eight of their last nine Super Rugby matches against teams from outside New Zealand (L1), including each of their last two; they have scored 41 points per game in that span.
- The Chiefs have won 12 of their last 14 Super Rugby matches outside New Zealand (L2), including their last five on the bounce; although, each of the last two games in that span has been decided by a margin no greater than three points on the day.
- Fijian Drua has conceded 179 turnovers, the most by any team in the campaign and 17 more than the Chiefs (162).
- The Chiefs have made 10 offloads per game, the joint-most by any team (also Moana Pasifika – 10) and one per game more than the Fijian Drua (9).
Players to watch
- Bryn Gatland has provided nine assists, the joint-most by any player (also Stephen Perofeta – 9 for Blues) and six more than any Fijian Drua player.
- Apisalome Vota has made seven tackles in 2022 resulting in a turnover, the most by any player and four more than the Chiefs’ best (Quinn Tupaea – 3).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at Churchill Park, Lautoka.
3.00: What a start to this game, both teams having an early chance but not taking them. Trask went close before being tackled into touch. Vinaya Habosi made a break, but the ball was lost in touch.
5.00: The crowd is electric, every time the hosts get their hands on the ball, the crowd is going mad.
8.00: The visitors go through the phases before giving away a penalty inside the opposition’s 22. There are some big hits already being made.
11.00: The Chiefs win another penalty, this time outside the 22, and they opt for touch. It’s been all Chiefs so far.
13.00: Another mistake by the Chiefs sees the hosts clear the danger. Clayton McMillan’s side has been a bit sloppy in the opening quarter of an hour.
14.00: TRY! A 12-phase attack ends with Angus Ta’avao taking Bryn Gatland’s flat pass on the angle and barging over Kitione Taliga and through Frank Lomani before reaching out to score his 10th Super Rugby try. 0-5
15.00: CONVERSION! Gatland adds the extras. 0-7
18.00: Angus Ta’avao went close, but is stopped short. A seven-phase attack ends with another penalty going against the Fijians. It is all Chiefs at the moment, they have had all the ball and all the territory. Brad Weber opts for an attacking scrum. Caleb Trask will not return to the field after failing an HIA.
19.00: Another penalty to the Kiwis for collapsing. Weber wants another scrum.
21.00: TRY! Gatland flies over the line after Weber broke to the blindside. Quinn Tupaea was stopped short from the first phase, but the quick recycled ball to Gatland saw the flyhalf go over untouched for his second score of the season. 0-12
22.00: CONVERSION! Gatland slots the kick. 0-14
23.00: Gatland knocks on due to the slippery conditions because of the humidity, which is around 73%.
25.00: Another 50/22 pins the Drua in their 22.
27.00: The Chiefs cough up possession and the Fijians counter-attack to the 22. However, Kalaveti Ravouvou breaks through a tackle before losing the ball forward near the try line.
29.00: Drua wins a penalty after Brodie Retallick took out Tamani in the air. Teti Tela boots to the 22.
30.00: Zuriel Togiatama cannot find his jumpers as the Drua turnover possession inside the Chiefs’ 22.
31.00: TRY! Ilaisa Droasese’s offload is accidentally kicked back towards the Chiefs’ try line by Brodie Retallick. Apisalome Vota chases the rolling ball before picking up to score. 5-14
32.00: CONVERSION! Tela adds the extras. 7-14
34.00: No advantage for a knock-on by the home team. The momentum has certainly swung in favour of the hosts.
36.00: The Kiwis are struggling with the slippery conditions, and are looking leggy at the end of the half.
38.00: A third 50/22 pins the hosts inside their 22. The Chiefs went wide, but the ball is lost forward; however, they had the advantage for offside. Scrum time.
40.00: TRY! Weber goes to the blindside off the back of the scrum to set up Emoni Narawa. The winger, born in Fiji, cut inside Vinaya Habosi and beat Kalaveti Ravouvou to the corner flag to silence the home supporters. 7-19
41.00: CONVERSION! Gatland’s kick slides inside the posts. 7-21
The halftime score was Fijian Drua 7 Chiefs 14
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway at a packed Churchill Park, Fiji.
43.00: Drua earns an early penalty outside the Chiefs’ 22.
45.00: PENALTY! Tela makes no mistake. 10-21
48.00: Some good thinking by Frank Lomani comes to nothing as Tupaea chases the halfback’s grubber and beats the attackers to the ball for a 22 dropout.
51.00: PENALTY! Tela adds three more. 13-21
53.00: TRY! A mix-up between Vinaya Habosi and Vota from the restart costs the Drua a try. Tupaea stole the ball after Habosi knocked it back to Vota. The ball bounced before the centre and Tupaea gathered before offloading to the supporting Narawa to score. 13-26
54.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 13-28
57.00: Fijian Drua look the fitter team, the conditions are getting to the visitors, but their lead is big. Drua going to need something special.
60.00: Fijian Drua are still in this, they just need to take their opportunities and limit the visitors to fewer chances.
63.00: NO TRY! Jonah Lowe dives over in the corner, but his foot was in touch. 13-28
65.00: The chiefs have been camped inside the Drua 22 for a few minutes, but cannot get through the wall.
66.00: PENALTY TRY! A bulldozing scrum ends with the ref raising his arm under the posts. 13-35
68.00: Oh dear, that was close! A barn-stroimng run down the sideline ends with Ratave’s offload going forward.
70.00: TRY! Kalaveti Ravouvou finishes off a sensational counter-attack after Vinaya Habosi broke from the Drua try line. Habosi beat five defenders as he charged to the halfway line. Before he got tackled, the winger offloaded to the supporting Ravouvou, who slipped two tackles to run away under the posts. That was wild! 18-35
71.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 20-35
74.00; Another penalty goes the way of Drua.
75.00: TRY! Vota crashes over from close range for his second double of the season. Wild! 25-35
76.00: CONVERSION! Tela makes no mistake. 27-35
79.00: TRY! Wow! This is wild, what a finish. Timoci Sauvoli scores under the posts after another sensational midfield offload by Vota. 32-35
80.00: CONVERSION! Tela’s quick drop-kick is good.
81.00: There is still time for one last attack.
82.00: The Chiefs hold on for a famous win in Fiji. This was one of the games of the season.
The final score is Drua 34 (7) Chiefs 35 (21)
Tries – Vota (2), Ravouvou, Sauvoli
Pen – Tela (2)
Con – Tela (4)
Tries – Ta’avao, Gatland, Narawa (2), Penalty try
Con – Gatland (4)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Angus Mabey
Assistant Ref 2: Dan Waenga
TMO: Glenn Newman
Drua: 15 Kitione Taliga, 14 Ilaisa Droasese, 13 Apisalome Vota, 12 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Teti Tela, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Nemani Nagusa (captain), 7 Rusiate Nasove, 6 Joseva Tamani, 5 Viliame Rarasea, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, 2 Zuriel Togiatama, 1 Haereiti Hetet.
Replacements: 16 Tevita Ikanivere, 17 Timoci Sauvoli, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Chris Minimbi, 20 Mesulame Dolokoto, 21 Peni Matawalu, 22 Caleb Muntz, 23 Onisi Ratave.
Chiefs: 15 Kaleb Trask, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Rameka Poihipi, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Alex Nankivell, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (captain), 9 Brad Weber (captain), 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Luke Jacobson, 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Bradley Slater, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Atu Moli, 19 Naitoa Ah Khoi, 20 Kaylum Boshier, 21 Cortez Ratima, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Jonah Lowe.