SPORTS

Match Worth Every Penny

The country came to a standstill on Saturday as people flocked in numbers to the ANZ National Stadium for an afternoon of enticing Super Rugby.
05 May 2022 04:00
Match Worth Every Penny
Fijian fans enjoy every moment of the Super Rugby Pacific clash between the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and the Highlanders at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on April 30, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

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The country came to a stand­still on Saturday as people flocked in numbers to the ANZ National Stadium for an af­ternoon of enticing Super Rugby.

For those who weren’t able to make it, the live televised match was good enough for them to ex­perience an historic moment in Fijian rugby.

It was the first time after 25 years that Fiji entered the Super Rugby competition.

But it was extra special because the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua played in front of a packed home crowd, after six months training and playing overseas.

 

Despite losing to Highlanders with a close margin of 24-27, the Drua brought to life the words in their i-Bole (cultural challenge) – Neitou Kalou, Neitou Vanua, Nei­tou Vuvale (our God, our land, our family).

The match was worth every pen­ny.

The atmosphere on the ground was nothing short of phenomenal.

The crowd was a sea of blue, um­brellas were tucked away, buckets of kava, a bit of alcohol, a live mu­sic band and the echoes of Toso Drua Toso were icing on the cake.

Rugby 7s legend Waisale Serevi said it would only get better for the Drua.

 

No doubt it will.

This was the sentiment shared by the crowd we spoke to on Saturday.

Keen rugby fan, Judy Saro said the support for the boys on Satur­day was really encouraging.

“Ticket prices are peanuts in comparison to the experience and the atmosphere,” Saro said.

 

“We’ve wanted to join this Super Rugby competition for a very long time, Fiji has been lobbying for that and now that we have it, the support has been really encourag­ing.

“The boys’ performance was su­perb and I enjoyed myself to the fullest. Mate na ilavo, dinau tale.”

Lasarusa Saqusaqu said it was a good experience to watch Fiji play­ing in their home ground.

 

“I am not a rugby expert, but how they performed today (last Satur­day) was really good,” he said.

Ilisapeci Marama shared similar sentiments, however said there was room for improvements.

“The second half could have been better, but I think for the first game they made Fiji proud and there was a good crowd that came out.

 

“Despite everything, rugby is like our religion, and you can witness it, win or lose you call the support­ers, they will come out and that is what we are here to see.”

With Saturday’s turnout and the performance of the Drua, it’s no doubt the match against the Chiefs at Churchill Park in Lautoka, on May 28, will be another match to look forward to.

After all, it’s just our first year in Super Rugby competition. Toso Drua Toso!

 

Feedback: ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj



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