Editorial

Editorial: Important Lessons For The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua In Their Heart-Breaking Loss To The Highlanders

It was a game of two halves. The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua took out the first half 24-17 while the Highlanders claimed the second, 10-0. What mattered most was the final score, which did not go our way 27-24.
02 May 2022 14:00
Editorial: Important Lessons For The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua In Their Heart-Breaking Loss To The Highlanders
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua second five eight Kalaveti Ravouvou beats Highlanders winger Scott Gregory to score the third try in their Super Rugby Pacific clash and behind him is hooker Mesulame Dolokoto at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on April 30, 2022. The try was set-up by first five eight Teti Tela. Photo: Ronald Kumar

It was a game of two halves.

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua took out the first half 24-17 while the Highlanders claimed the second, 10-0.

What mattered most was the final score, which did not go our way 27-24.

 

The loss was disappointing for a number of reasons. Firstly, we lost our first Super Rugby Pacific home match.

And then, for the thousands of fans who had to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for their tickets, be at the ANZ Stadium in Suva to show their support.

It was heart-breaking as a win for the Drua would at least brighten their day.

 

Now with the in- creasing costs of fuel, wheat and possibly bus fare, it has be- come an added burden.

However, that’s life and what is crucial is for us to get up and get going.

For the Drua, there were two important lessons exposed from the Highlanders match, which has been hampering their performance in the competition.

 

These lessons are:

#1. Be competitive to the end
Yes, the Drua played to the last whistle but were they competitive?

No.

To win a Super Rugby match, who’ve got to stay competitive throughout the match and ensure you get the result you wanted.

The Highlanders were 21-10 down at one stage but they kept coming back to beat us in the end.

 

The Drua lost their competitive edge in the second half and looked disorganised in the backline as they played individually and easily lost possession in turnovers.

And at the same time our kickers gave away huge chunks of territory as they way off the mark with their touch finders.

This resulted in the Drua backpedalling all the time and were not able to play competitively hence failed to score in the second half.

To be competitive means you not only have to defend but you also have to keep the scoreboard ticking even though you are well ahead on the scoreline.

 

#2. ‘Aaron Smith’ factor missing
Veteran Highlanders and All Blacks halfback, Aaron Smith, showed what the Drua lacked in the Super Rugby competition.

Smith controlled the tempo of the game.

He ensured that they stuck to the structure and game plan set by the coaches.

 

They worked as a unit.

He delayed his deliveries when the Drua players were coming fast at them and suddenly opened up play to catch the opposition napping.

He marshalled their defence shape and his kicking game time was superb.

 

Smith was subbed in the second half but left the blueprint for his apprentice Folau Fakatava to follow and he did it with precision.

The Drua have got one of the most dangerous backlines in the competition but they need someone of an ‘Aaron Smith factor’ to control the game for them.

Yes, there have been a lot of learnings and a tough debut year for the Drua but they must keep on striving to be the best and try to finish the competition on a higher note.

This is the way to go..

 

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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