This will be the second Super Rugby match between the Fijian Drua and NSW Waratahs; the Waratahs defeated the Drua in their inaugural meeting (40-10 in Round 1, 2022 Super Rugby Pacific).
Three of Fijian Drua’s last four Super Rugby Pacific matches have been decided by margins no greater than five points.
- The NSW Waratahs have lost their last eight Super Rugby away matches in succession; the last and only time they went on a longer losing run on the road in the competition, was a nine-match span from March 1996 to May 1997.
- NSW Waratahs’ most recent Super Rugby match against a team from outside Australia was a 40-10 victory against the Fijian Drua (18 February 2022).
- The Waratahs will be aiming for back-to-back wins in such fixtures for the first time since March 2019.
- Fijian Drua has made nine offloads resulting in a break this season, more than any other team in the competition and four more than NSW (5).
- The Drua have scored four tries starting possession from a tap penalty this campaign, more than the rest of the competition combined (Crusaders – 1, Hurricanes – 1, MelbourneRebels – 1).
- NSW have an 86 per cent scrum success rate in 2022, the second-lowest of any team in the competition (Western Force – 83%); however, fewer than the Fijian Drua (96%) – the highest of any team in this category.
- The Waratahs have conceded 14 penalties per game in Super Rugby Pacific, the most of any team in the competition and two per game more than the Fijians (12).
We are waiting for the kick-off.
In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at Cbus Stadium, Gold Coast, Queensland.
3.00: Fijian Drua has the weight advantage in the scrum, but gets pushed backwards by the Waratahs in the first set piece.
5.00: David Porecki is isolated at the ruck inside the Drua 22. Teti Tela clears.
8.00: Despite New South Wales having most of the territory and possession, Fijian Drua looks the more dangerous team, especially on the counter-attack.
10.00: Swarming defence by the Tahs sees the Fijians tackled into touch on the Sydney side’s 22.
13.00: Another entry into Fijian Drua’s 22 comes to nothing as the Aussies get pinged at the breakdown.
15.00: Similarly, the Fijians get pinged once again inside the Tahs’ 22.
16.00: TRY! Dylan Pietsch, with his first start on the left wing, scores his maiden Super Rugby try. a powerful driving maul saw the Waratahs drive back Fijian Drua’s forwards before going wide. Alex Newsome, at fullback, put in a deft grubber for Pietsch to chase, toe forward, gather and score. 0-5
18.00: CONVERSION! Tane Edmed slots the touchline conversion. 0-7
21.00: MISS! Tela’s penalty hits the post and bounces out for NSW to clear.
23.00: TRY! Vinaya Habosi does it again, racing down the sideline after being sent away by Tela for the try. Mesulame Dolokoto tackled David Porecki, who dropped the ball in the contact. Tela gathered, charged forward before putting Habosi away. The winger beat Will Harris and Mark Nawaqanitawase to the corner. 5-7
24.00: CONVERSION! Tela levels. 7-7
27.00: RED CARD! Nemani Nagusa is sent off for a high closeline on Tane Edmed. 7-7
28.00: TRY! At the second attempt, the Tahs’ forwards bulldoze their way through the Drua forwards to go ahead through Charlie Gamble. 7-7
30.00: MISS! Edmed pulls the conversion wide. 7-12
33.00: A lot of stoppages in this game is killing momentum, it’s a real problem with Australian teams and has been for years.
35.00: NSW beginning to make their numbers count as they stretch the opposition. A sustained 22-phase attack ended with a no arms tackle by Frank Lomani on Will Harris. Edmed goes to the corner.
37.00: TRY! A patient driving maul from the Aussies ends with another Porecki score, his fourth of the season. 7-17
39.00: MISS! Newsome cannot convert from the corner. 7-17
41.00: The hooter goes, but the Fijians decide to run from their 22. They lose possession allowing the Tahs to counter-attack. Nothing comes from the last play.
The halftime score was Fijian Drua 7 NSW Waratahs 17
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway down under.
43.00: Tahs with the first chance of the second half as they attack inside the Drua 22.
43.00: YELLOW CARD! Lomani, with his third high tackle, is off for 10. 7-17
44.00: TRY! Jed Holloway drags three defenders over the chalk for an easy score. 7-22
45.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 7-24
48.00: A bit of a lull in Queensland as the teams make the changes.
52.00: TRY! Holloway and Edmed combine to send away Michael Hooper for his 28th Super Rugby try. What a maoment for the world, the Wallabies and Waratahs legend. 7-29
53.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 7-31
55.00: TRY! Rusiate Nasove scores with his first touch. 12-31
56.00: CONVERSION! Tela brings up 50 Super Rugby Pacific points. 14-31
60.00: We have entered the last quarter, it’s still all Tahs.
63.00: Drua steal a Tahs’ lineout, but Peni Matawalu knocks on to give away the ball.
64.00: TRY! Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco puts Mark Nawaqanitawase away in the corner. 14-36
65.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 14-38
68.00: Not much tackling going on as both teams begin to play ‘Hot Potato’ in Queensland.
72.00: NSW trying all the tricks inside the 22, but can’t break through.
75.00: It’s not frenetic, yet both sides are looking to go wide. The tackling is weak, which is to be expected.
78.00: Drua camped inside the Tahs’ 22, but poor handling kills two good chances.
81.00: The ball is booted to touch, game over!
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The final score is Fijian Drua 14 (7) Waratahs 38 (17)
Tries – Habosi, Nasove
Con – Tela (2)
Cards – Nagusa (Red, 27′), Lomani (Yellow, 43′)
Tries – Pietsch, Gamble, Porecki, Holloway, Hooper, Nawaqanitawase
Con – Edmed (4)
Referee: Reuben Keane
Assistant Ref 1: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Jordan Way
TMO: Brett Cronan
Drua: 15 Kitione Ratu, 14 Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, 13 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 12 Caleb Muntz, 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Teti Tela, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Nemani Nagusa (captain), 7 Kitione Salawa, 6 Joseva Tamani, 5 Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Samuela Tawake, 2 Mesulame Dolokoto, 1 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa.
Replacements: 16 Tevita Ikanivere, 17 Haereiti Hetet, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Viliame Rarasea, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Rusiate Nasove, 22 Peni Matawalu, 23 Napolioni Bolaca.
Waratahs: 15 Alex Newsome, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Tane Edmed, 9 Jack Grant, 8 Will Harris, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Geoffrey Cridge, 4 Jed Holloway (captain), 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Archer Holz, 19 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 20 Michael Hooper, 21 Teddy Wilson, 22 Jamie Roberts, 23 Triston Reilly.