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Fijian Drua Player Ratings

The Fiji Airways Fijian Drua were made to fight until the very end but eventually earned a spot in the semi-finals of the National Rugby Championship. The narrow 26-24 win
13 Oct 2019 19:00
Fijian Drua Player Ratings
Fiji Airways Fijian Drua flanker Johnny Dyer goes over for a try against Queensland Country during their National Rugby Championship clash at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka on October 12, 2019 Drua won 26-24 to qualify for the semifinal where they are likely to play against Rob Valetini’s Canberra Vikings. Photo: Simione Haravanua

The Fiji Airways Fijian Drua were made to fight until the very end but eventually earned a spot in the semi-finals of the National Rugby Championship. The narrow 26-24 win over the Queensland Country side yesterday was not only hard-fought but also exposed some of the Drua’s vulnerabilities, especially during set pieces.

A late yellow card to substitute centre Poasa Waqanibau nearly cost them the match and coach Senirusi Seruvakula admitted that his team lacked focus.

Despite the unconvincing display, the Drua had too much quality for Queensland Country and eventually earned an important bonus-point win.

Drua, the defending NRC champions finished third and are likely to play Canberra Vikings in one of the semifinals while Brisbane City are expected to face Western Force in the other.

RATINGS

1. Joeli Veitayaki– Not an extraordinary showing by the captain but an efficient display nonetheless. Was vocal throughout: 7/10

2. Tevita Ikanivere– His poor throws during lineouts put pressure on the Drua. Defended reasonably well but subbed off early in the second half: 5/10

3. Penijamini Makutu– Committed mistakes and played below expectations. Was part of the tight-five that struggled at scrum time. Subbed off early in the second half: 5/10

4. Tevita Naqali- Strong performance from the lock. Showed tenacity in both attack and defence. Seruvakula kept him on the pitch for the full 80 minutes: 8/10

5. Peni Naulago– The second rower worked hard but handling errors and poor ball retention blighted his game: 6/10

6. Filimoni Seru– Strong tackling but did little else of note: 5/10

7. Johnny Dyer- Fiji’s best player in the first-half. Scored a try when his team was down and led right from the front. A captain in the making: 8.5/10

8. Eremasi Radrodro– Solid performance by Radrodro. Will be important in the semis: 7/10

9. Peni Matawalu– Could have been quicker with his deliveries. Didn’t really create much going forward: 6/10

10. Enele Malele- Tireless throughout but missed an easy conversion late in the match which could have been costly: 7/10

11. Levani Kurumudi- Scored two tries, including the winner, and was a handful for the Queensland Country defence: 8/10

12. Serupepeli Vularika– A quiet but efficient display from the Flying Fijians standby player. One of the team’s best performers on an average day in Lawaqa: 8/10.

13. Cryril Reece– Played competently in midfield, putting in a particularly strong effort in defence: 7/10

14. Jiuta Wainiqolo– A disastrous error in the first-half led to Queensland’s second try. Never really recovered from the mistake but somehow lasted the full 80 minutes: 4/10

15. Apisalome Waqatabu– Shambolic under the high ball but recovered well to score a good try. His poor handling continued in the second half: 5/10

RESERVES

16. Ratunaisa Navuma- Lineouts didn’t improve when he came on. Was decent in defence: 5.5/10

17. Timoci Sauvoli- Defended well at the breakdown: 6/10

18. Jone Koroiduadua – N/A

19. Epeli Radaniva– Came in early in the first half and worked hard: 6/10

20. Rusiate Nasove – N/A

21. Caleb Muntz– Sent in with very little time remaining. Passed the ball well: 5/10

22. Samisoni Viriviri- Brought on at fullback but did just enough: 5/10.

23. Poasa Waqanibau– Lost his head and was yellow carded in a crucial moment. Contributed little else: 3/10

Edited by Leone Cabenatbua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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