SPORTS

Tough For Drua

The Fiji Airways Drua rugby side have a slim chance of winning their semifinal clash against Queensland Country in the Australian National Rugby Championship. Adding more woes to the Drua’s
31 Oct 2017 11:00
Tough For Drua
Fiji Airways Drua full-back Meli Nakarawa during training. Meli is the younger brother of Fiji Airways Flying Fijians lock forward Leone Nakarawa who currently plays for Racing 92 in the Top 14 competition in France. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fiji Airways Drua rugby side have a slim chance of winning their semifinal clash against Queensland Country in the Australian National Rugby Championship.

Adding more woes to the Drua’s campaign when it was confirmed yesterday that prop Kalivati Tawake and first choice- halfback Serupepeli Vularika have not fully recovered from their injuries and will not play.

This was confirmed to SUNsports by Drua head coach Senirusi Seruvakula.

“No they won’t be playing,” he said when asked of their availability.

However, Queensland Country have been reinforced with the inclusion of Taniela Tupou and Duncan Paia’aua who had played for the Barbarians against the Wallabies last Saturday.

In an earlier interview Seruvakula said discipline remain to be a major concern.

This was backed by NRC.COM, who stated that for the past two weeks the Drua have been on the wrong end of significant penalty counts.

That is;

  • v Queensland Country- 18 penalties and 2 yellow cards
  • v Sydney Rays- 15 penalties and 1 yellow card
  • Coupled with the biting and eye gouging incidents where two players are currently being suspended.

The NRC.COM stats indicate that the Drua players have copped 8 yellow cards in the competition followed by Queensland Country with 7.

“That’s nearly one per game, and it makes defence difficult when there’s a reasonable chance you’ll spend ten minutes of a game defending with 14 men,” stated NRC.COM

“The Drua will be eyeing off an opportunity to square the ledger with Queensland Country this season, but against the one of the best defensive teams in the competition, they can’t afford to lose a player for 10 minutes during a semi-final.

“This is the only aspect of their game they need to tighten up, and if they don’t, they can forget about reaching the decider.”

 

PREDICTION

According NRC.COM, Queensland Country should start fairly comfortable favourites on Sunday.

With the return of Tupou and Paia’aua this should boost their set piece and adds spark to their attack, and that should be more than enough for a Drua side now without half a dozen regulars called up to the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians for their Spring tour.

 

SEMIFINALS

Saturday, Nov 4- Canberra Vikings v Perth Spirit at Viking Park, Canberra

Sunday, Nov 5- Queensland Country v Fijian Drua, Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba

Edited by  Grace  Narayan

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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