Super Rugby

Fijian Drua stun shell-shocked Melbourne Rebels




Fijian Drua stunned the Melbourne Rebels 31-26 in a thrilling Super Rugby Pacific seven-try contest at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Queensland.

Fijian Drua fought back from 14-nil down to take a lead they never relinquished, and notch a historic, first-ever Super Rugby victory in Kawana Waters, Queensland.

The Melbourne Rebels have now lost six of their previous six matches against non-Australian teams. The Rebels only have two wins from 11 games when facing a team for the first time.

The Rebels did, however, out-score Drua four tries to three in a Super Rugby clash played in slippery conditions.

Onisi Ratave, Vilive Miramira and Apisalome Vota all dotted down for Mick Byrne’s heroic team.

Teti Tela came off the bench and punished the opposition. He kicked four second-half penalties and one conversion (14 points), while Muntz added a conversion of his own.

Young Tonumaipea bagged a brace from the wing. James Hanson and Raymond Nu’u also scored for Kevin Foote’s shocked side. Matt To’omua landed three conversions.

Nu’u’s late try may have not been a consolation, but it did give his side a losing bonus point.

Fighting Fijian Drua have arrived in Super Rugby.

Melbourne Rebels dominated the first half but only lead by seven after late Fijian Drua score

Melbourne Rebels took a two-goal lead on either side of Ratu Rotuisolia’s 33rd-minute yellow card for three infringements inside his team’s 22.

Tonumaipea opened the scoring in the fourth minute. To’omua converted, but there was no more scoring until after Rotuisolia’s sin-binning.

Vinaya Habosi, however, did have a 14th-minute try chalked off by the TMO.

Hanson crashed over after a powerful driving maul, and To’omua’s kick made it 14-0 to Melbourne.

But Drua scored twice in six minutes on either side of halftime. It was their third try that gave the Islanders a one-point lead on 53 minutes when Tela knocked over his first penalty.

With the clock running down, Ratave made amends for his previous errors, scoring under the posts after a mistake by the Rebels.

Muntz added the extras to halve the deficit before the hooter.

Fijian Drua come out fighting, taking the game away from a beleaguered Melbourne Rebels

Drua scored 15 unanswered points inside the third quarter. Melbourne reeled.

Miramira beat Brad Wilkin to a loose ball from the top of the Rebels’ lineout.

The flanker, whose name means ‘look look’ in Spanish, certainly caught the eye when sped down the touchline.

The 22-year-old slipped Wilkin’s desperate ankle tap to score in the corner. Sensational.

Tela hit a penalty before another five-pointer when Vota raced away to score against the run of play.

Peni Matawalu’s quick-thinking set up the centre down the lefthand touchline. The scrumhalf took a quick-tap penalty, catching the opposition off guard.

Matawalu sucked in the cover defenders and popped to Vota for the score.

Tela converted and knocked over another penalty to give his side a two-score eight-point advantage.

Tonumaipea’s second try, on the hour mark, came from a mistake by Selestino Ravutaumada.

A slick backline move saw fullback Carter Gordon’s grubber bamboozle his opposite number Ravutaumada.

The ball could not be collected. Instead, it bounced into the open arms of Tonumaipea.

To’omua missed the sideline conversion, but Melbourne trailed 22-19.

Two Tela goals in quick succession came after some ill-discipline by the Rebels inside their half.

More ill-discipline by Foote’s men killed the game when the 30-year-old playmaker added three more with less than three to play.

Nu’u scored after the hooter, but he could not spare his team’s blushes.

Final Score: Fijian Drua 31 (7) Rebels 26 (14)


Fijian Drua
Tries – Ratave, Miramira, Vota
Pen – Tela (4)
Con – Muntz, Tela
Drop –
Cards –

Tries – Tonumaipea (2), Hanson, Nu’u
Pen –
Con – To’omua (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 1: Reuben Keane
Assistant Ref 2: James Palmer
TMO: Brett Cronan


Fijian Drua

15 Selestino Ravutaumada, 14 Onisi Ratave, 13 Apisalome Vota, 12 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Peni Matawalu, 8 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 7 Vilive Miramira, 6 Meli Derenalagi (captain), 5 Ratu Rotuisolia, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Samuela Tawake, 2 Tevita Ikanivere, 1 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa

16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17 Timoci Sauvoli, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Viliame Rarasea, 20 Rusiate Nasove, 21 Joshua Vuta, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Jona Mataiciwa

Melbourne Rebels

15 Carter Gordon, 14 Young Tonumaipea, 13 Lukas Ripley, 12 Raymond Nu’u, 11 Glen Vaihu, 10 Matt To’omua, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Tamati Ioane, 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Michael Wells (captain), 5 Josh Canham, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 James Hanson, 1 Cameron Orr

Replacements: 16 Efi Ma’afu, 17 Isaac Aedo Kailea, 18 Rhys van Nek, 19 Josh Hill, 20 Sam Wallis, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Ilikena Vudogo

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  1. Pingback: Fijian Drua stun shell-shocked Melbourne Rebels - Super Rugby Pacific - Daily Post Central

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