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Waratahs beat Fijian Drua in Parramatta

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The Fijian Drua will play their inaugural Super Rugby game when they visit the NSW Waratahs in Round 1 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season. Six of the last eight teams to be away from home in their maiden game have gone on to lose on the day.

Fijian Drua won three of their last four regular-season games in the National Rugby Championship in 2019 (L1), including their last two, before being knocked out by just a single point in the semi-finals by the Canberra Vikings (28-27).

Match detail

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1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in Super Rugby Pacific 2022 for this historic first match between New South Wales Waratahs and Fijian Drua at CommBank Stadium in Western Sydney.

4.00: NSW wins a scrum on their line, and runs out from their 22. Drua wins back possession but kicks the ball out on the full after taking the ball back into their 22.

7.00: Apisalome Vota strips Izaia Perese after a seven-phase attack inside Drua’s 22, but the Tahs come back after the kick is not out, and win a penalty after a side entry to the ruck by Samuela Tawake. Ben Donaldson calls for the tee.

8.00: PENALTY! Ben Donaldson opens the scoring. 3-0

12.00: Waratahs are forcing Drua into mistakes at the breakdown and driving maul winning a couple of penalties. The visitors are struggling in the tight phases as their hosts pile on the early pressure.

13.00: TRY! Will Harris scores under the posts from a pick and drive. 8-0

14.00: CONVERSION! Donaldson makes no mistake from in front. 10-0

16.00: PENALTY! Baden Kerr opens Drua’s account in Super Rugby Pacific. 10-3

20.00: PENALTY! Donaldson slots another penalty to make it a two-score game at the end of the first quarter. 13-3

21.00: Simione Kuruvoli deliberately knocks down the ball and is pinged by Nic Berry.

22.00: PENALTY! Donaldson adds three more. 16-3

26.00: Fijian Drua enjoying a good series of plays winning a couple of penalties, which allows them to set up a line out near the NSW try line.

28.00: Nothing comes from the attack after Drua concedes a penalty.

32.00: A chance goes begging for the visitors after Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta knocks on near the try line. However, the South Sea Islanders win a turnover penalty and kick to the corner again.

34.00: Tevita Ikanivere enters the ruck from the side to allow the Tahs to clear the danger. Drua’s handling has been iffy, and their set-pieces shaky, which is costing Mick Byrne’s inexperienced team.

36.00: TRY! Dave Porecki flops over the chalk for his third Super Rugby score after a powerful driving maul from close-range. 21-3

37.00: MISS! The conversion is not made. 21-3

38.00: Drua wins a penalty to clear their lines, they need to get some points before the break.

40.00: Tahs have a scrum inside their half after the Drua hooker throws skew.

42.00: Kerr kicks to touch for one last chance before halftime after winning a relieving penalty.

43.00: Another botched lineout allows Jake Gordon to end the half.

The halftime score was NSW Waratahs 21 Fijian Drua 3

41.00: PEEEP! Donaldson gets us back underway in Parramatta.

42.00: TRY! Lalakai Foketi crashes over in the corner to extend the lead. Foketi dragged two defenders over the chalk following a seven-phase attack after the Tahs won the restart. 26-3

43.00: MISS! Donaldson misses from wide. 26-3

45.00: YELLOW CARD! Simione Kuruvoli almost wriggles over the try line but is pushed back. He looked to have lost the ball forward after a chip-and-chase; however, the ball is held up. After a TMO review, Berry decides to issue a yellow card for a dangerous lift by Jone Koroiduadua on Porecki. 26-3

48.00: It’s getting feisty out there as both teams get frustrated with each other.

52.00: TRY! Angus Bell crashes over for his fifth career try after Holloway put the prop away with a skip pass. 31-3

53.00: CONVERSION! Donaldson is back on song. 33-3

57.00: TRY! Jake Gordon intercepts Baden Kerr’s stray pass, puts on the jet-burners, racing away from Kalaveti Ravouvou for a 60-metre score. 38-3

58.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 40-3

61.00: Izaia Perese knocks on after another intercept. Scrum to Drua as the Tahs make several changes to the pack.

65.00: TRY! Captain Nemani Nagusa makes history for Fijian Drua with the franchise’s first-ever Super Rugby try. 40-8

66.00: CONVERSION! Kerr adds the extras. 40-10

70.00: Lots of mistakes begin to turn the game into a mess. It is very slippery on the paddock after some showers at halftime.

74.00: Still lots of off-the-ball incidents taking place; Mr. Berry has had enough and warned both captains that he’ll show yellows.

77.00: Drua on the attack inside the Tahs’ 22, they are battering away at the line, but can’t score. Two penalties in quick succession allow the visitors a breather after deciding to go quickly.

81.00: YELLOW CARD! Tiaan Tauakipulu is sent to the bin after collapsing the scrum. 40-10

83.00: Drua keep the pressure on the Tahs, but cannot find a way over the whitewash. Game over.


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The final score is NSW Waratahs 40 (21) Fijian Drua 10 (3)


Tries – Harris, Porecki, Foketi, Bell, Gordon
Pen – Donaldson (3)
Con – Donaldson (3)
Drop –
Cards – Tauakipulu (Yellow, 81′)

Tries – Nagusa
Pen – Kerr
Con – Kerr
Drop –
Cards – Koroiduadua (Yellow, 45′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 1: Reuben Keane
Assistant Ref 2: Matt Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie


NSW Waratahs

15 Alex Newsome, 14 Dylan Pietsch, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 James Turner, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Geoff Cridge, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Dave Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Tiaan Tauakipulu, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Carlo Tizzano, 21 Henry Robertson, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Jamie Roberts

Fijian DRUA

15 Selesitino Ravutaumada, 14 Kitione Ratu, 13 Apisalome Vota, 12 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Simione Kuruvoli, 8 Nemani Nagusa (captain), 7 Kitione Salawa, 6 Meli Derenalagi, 5 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Samuela Tawake, 2 Tevita Ikanivere, 1 Jone Koroiduadua.

Replacements: 16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17 Timoci Sauvoli, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Viliame Rarasea, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Peni Matawalu, 22 Caleb Muntz, 23 Onisi Ratave

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