SPORTS

MISTAKES Cost Drua Game

Basic mistakes cost us the game, said Fiji Airways Fijian Drua captain Eremasi Radrodro, after they were beaten 15-38 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, yesterday.
08 Sep 2019 13:39
MISTAKES Cost Drua Game
Serupepeli Vularika of the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua scores the team’s first try against Western Force on September 7, 2019, in Suva’s ANZ Stadium. Despite the try Drua lost 15-38. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Basic mistakes cost us the game, said Fiji Airways Fijian Drua captain Eremasi Radrodro, after they were beaten 15-38 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, yesterday.

“We made basic mistakes like dropping the ball whenever we had possession and we did not capitalise on our opportunities,” he said.

“We were overconfident and this is a learning curve for us and we should learn from our mistakes. We’ll go back to the drawing board and see our weaknesses and areas we should work on.”

What happened:

Force used their bigger men to commit the Drua players and this provided an overlap, which saw their winger, Jonah Placid, run in two quick tries. First five-eighth Andrew Deegan landed one conversion for a 12-0 lead.

Poor handling and taking wrong options led to the Drua missing a number of scoring chances.

But in the 21st minute halfback Serupepeli Vularika burst through sloppy Force defence to go over for a try, which was converted by Peceli Nacebe.

In the 30th minute, a penalty to the Drua converted by Nacebe narrowed the deficit to 12-10.

Force immediately struck back when winger Leveni Kurimudu failed to catch a high ball, flanker Tevin Ferris pounced on the loose ball to score the visitor’s third try with Deegan’s successful conversion increasing their lead 19-10.

Replacement Jake Strachan was a threat all day after covering for fullback Jack McGregor, who hobbled off in the 11th minute. His pinpoint pass to Kiti Ratu led to the winger crossing over for the final try of the opening half.

A spectacular runaway try from Drua winger Nacanieli Narekuva minutes after halftime looked to have turned the tables as the locals closed the gap to 26-15 and with composed ball control, the Fijian speedsters began to revel in the extra space. But the Force held firm and the flow of points never came.

The Force’s tenacious defence was rewarded when Strachan stepped off his left close to the line to score, his try ending the Drua’s late rally and putting the game beyond doubt at 31-15, before Placid scored his third in the final 10 minutes.

The unbeaten Force take on Melbourne Rising next week while the Drua brace for NSW Country.

Star play:

Force halfback Issak Fines Leleiwasa was a thorn in the Drua defence by controlling the pace of the game with quick balls from the base of the ruck that created scoring opportunities for his team.

Comments:

Western Force coach Tim Sampson said: “Our main concern was giving them more possession, so we talked about controlling the game and holding on to the ball for a long period of time to frustrate the Drua.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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