SPORTS | Super Rugby

Vinaka vakalevu for the Support: Thorburn

The Fijian Drua, Super Rugby Pacific’s newest club, made a massive statement by recording the largest attendance of the Super Rugby Pacific season so far in the Drua-Highlanders Round 11 match at ANZ Stadium, Suva. A sell-out crowd of 15,102 witnessed the historic homecoming of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua playing on home soil for the very first time
02 May 2022 15:15
Vinaka vakalevu for the Support: Thorburn
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua captain head coach Mick Byrne said they had disappointed the fans with their poor second half performance at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on April 30, 2022 Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fijian Drua, Super Rugby Pacific’s newest club, made a massive statement by recording the largest attendance of the Super Rugby Pacific season so far in the Drua-Highlanders Round 11 match at ANZ Stadium, Suva.

A sell-out crowd of 15,102 witnessed the historic homecoming of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua playing on home soil for the very first time.

The match more than lived up to the hype and expectations, and preparations are already underway for the last regular season match between the Drua and the Chiefs at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn said: “I’d like to start with a massive vinaka vakalevu to the Fijian people for their support of our team and for being absolutely amazing last Saturday. We had the biggest, most vibrant and the loudest crowd of the year.

The feedback from all sectors, including the competition organisers, has been full of praise for the way Fiji hosted its own Super Rugby Pacific match.

On the field, both teams dazzled, and while we didn’t get the win, we continue to send warning bells around this competition.”

Just 26 days remain until the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua return to play on home soil – this time at Churchill Park in Lautoka where they take on the Chiefs from Waikato. It will be the first time for the Sugar City to host a Super Rugby Pacific match.

“The Chiefs are one of the leading sides in the competition and currently sit fourth on the ladder. With a squad featuring 12 full All Blacks and names like Pita Gus Sowakula, Brad Webber, Anton Leinert-Brown, Brodie Retallick and All Black Captain Sam Cane, they will by vying for a win to secure a home quarter-final. But the Drua will be out to spoil their party with the support of our vocal locals.”

Thorburn added “Given the popularity of the Chiefs in Fiji, as well as the Drua, I have no doubt that we’ll get another sell out, and we will do everything we can to safely increase capacity at the Venue’.

We’ve also learned from the Suva Highlanders match and we have earmarked an area at the northern end of the field for $20 tickets. Due to the limited size of this area and the number of available tickets, these will only be available from Lautoka Council offices.”

Tickets for the match at Churchill Park are priced as follows:

  • $20 for adults and $10 for kids under 12 for the grass embankment on the Tappoo City (Northern) end of the field.
  • $30 for adults and $15 for kids under 12 for the grass embankment opposite the main stadium (Eastern).
  • $95 for the Timber Grandstand (Pavilion B)
  • $95 for a temporary grandstand to be constructed adjacent to the Concrete Grandstand (Pavilion A)
  • $145 for the Concrete Grandstand (Pavilion A)

Tickets will be available for sale from Monday 9th May at the Lautoka City Council office, and eight selected Jack’s of Fiji outlets.

“Last Saturday we ran out of tickets and had to turn away fans trying to purchase tickets at the gate. With a much lower capacity venue at Churchill Park of around 11,000, we continue to recommend that fans get their tickets early and plan their day in Lautoka.

It’s a 3pm kick off in what we are sure will be beautiful weather.  We expect large numbers of fans to be travelling on the day from Suva, and in the West from Sigatoka to Ra.

A large number of players are from Western Viti Levu so it will be an opportunity for Westerners to see their sons and favourite Drua players in action!”

Lautoka City Council CEO Mohammed Anees Khan said: “This will be an historic event for the City of Lautoka, as the Sugar City will play host to its first ever fixture of the Super Rugby franchise.

What makes this more special is that our own boys will be playing in front of a home crowd of the Western Division of Fiji.”

“An influx of guests, visitors and tourists are expected to grace the game venue at Churchill Park. This gives the business community of Lautoka to showcase what the Sugar City has to offer. Considerable economic activity is expected to be generated by this fixture.”

He added: “Lautoka looks forward to market itself to the wider international television audience as a choice of destination for international sports events. Lautoka City Council thanks the Chief Executive Officer of the Fijian Drua and its management team for having confidence in Churchill Park to host a fixture of this magnitude, and we look forward to work together to bring more international quality rugby games to Lautoka. We urge all stakeholders to join hands to make this historic event a success.”

An exciting curtain raiser match is also planned for the day, with details to be announced later in partnership with the Fiji Rugby Union.

Feedbacks: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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