Drua’s Top Priority

Captain Derenalagi calls on fans to be at the ANZ Stadium as a show of support.
25 Apr 2022 12:33
Drua’s Top Priority
From left: Swire Shipping Fijian Drua reps Kitione Salawa, with captain Meli Derenalagi. Photo: Aroha Photography

Preparations to beat the Highlanders in Saturday’s Super Rugby Pacific clash in Suva is a must for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua side.

This was revealed by captain, Meli Derenalagi, on Saturday night.

“Our preparation is more important than just playing at home,” the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist said.

“Before we get home we have to lift our preparations, lift our standards and we need to change our mindset to a winning one.

“It was the first time for me to play against a New Zealand Super Rugby team but I’m proud of the boys and the effort they put in. We came to compete and show the Blues that we are a force to be reckoned with in the competition.”

Derenalagi said it really meant a lot for the players to return home and play in front of their fans and loved ones.

“To all the fans at home, I invite you all to come down on Saturday and support the Drua. Come in numbers to witness our first Super Rugby home game. We finally have a chance of playing in front of our home crowd.”

Drua head coach Mick Byrne said they had set standards that must be maintained.

“Over the last three months our professionalism is at a stage where we put our preparations a priority.

“We put the game first and get our preps right,” he said.

The Drua side put on a good performance despite going down 35-18 to the Blues.

They scored two tries to Mesulame Dolokoto and Onisi Ratave.

Meanwhile, injuries to our Europe based- players have opened up opportunities for the Drua players to play for the Flying Fijians in the June Test matches.

Speaking to SUNsports, Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter said so far the injured players were loose forwards Viliame Mata and Peceli Yato, along with star centre Semi Radradra, who has undergone knee surgery.

“Meli Derenagali is a player we are keen to look closer at with injuries to Bill Mata and Peceli Yato, while (Kalaveti) Ravouvou has impressed also and may be an option with the injury to Radradra,” Cotter said

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