Three Must Watch Match-Ups

Super Rugby newbies, the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika are gun­ning for a win when they play to­day at the CommBank Stadium in Parramatta, Sydney.
14 May 2022 11:21
Three Must Watch Match-Ups
Left: Swire Shipping Fijian Drua top try scorer Onisi Ratave to start today. Photo: Fijian Drua Right: Fiji-born Moana Pasifika winger Timoci Tavatavanawai during training. Photo: Moana Pasifika

Super Rugby newbies, the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika are gun­ning for a win when they play to­day at the CommBank Stadium in Parramatta, Sydney.

Drua head coach, Mick Byrne, was on the right track when he said that it would be a bruising encoun­ter.

“They (Drua and Moana players) are mates but they get a bit of re­spect by how they hit each other as mates, so we are in for a pretty bruising and exciting affair,” he said.

Moana Pasifika head coach, Aar­on Mauger, has based his Match 23 selection on combination and fire­power of his players.

The former All Blacks second five-eight has opted for Danny Toala- Solomone Kata partnership in the center’s.

He has named the fiery Jack Lam and playmaker Christian Leali’ifano on the bench and will bring them later into the game to provide the impact.

This, Mauger hopes, should give them the edge on the score line.

So, let’s take a look at three of the interesting match-ups in this much anticipated clash, which gets un­derway at 4.35pm.


Stowers, 27, has been dubbed the Beast for his aggressive play and strong carries.

He has Super Rugby experience playing for Western Force, Brumb­ies and now Moana Pasifika.

The 24-year-old Cirikidaveta has been a revelation for the Drua and controls the game well from the back of the scrum.

He’s a strong tackler and reads the game well.

For him to start ahead of season captain, Nemani Nagusa, tells a lot about Cirikidaveta’s ability as a No.8.


Tavatavanawai is another strong running Fijian winger who has be­come the go-to-man for the Moana Pasifika side.

He was first identified by Crusad­ers head coach, Scott Robertson and roped the former Fijian Un­der-20 winger into their extended squad.

Tavatavanawai signed up with Moana Pasifika and after sitting out in a couple of their matches, he was finally given the chance to play and is now playing week in and week out.

Ratave’s style of play has been lik­ened to Rupeni Caucaunibuca and is a clinical finisher.

He is the Drua’s top try scorer with six.

Ratave came in as a sub against the Hurricanes in the final 20 min­utes, scored a try and was named in the Super Rugby Team of the Week.

It will be interesting to see how he will take on Tavatavanawai.


They will don the No.10 jumper and control the tempo of the game.

Mauger is confident that Mc­Clutchie has got what it takes to match up to the qualities of Chris­tian Leali’ifano, who is on the bench.

For Tela, this is his chance to step up and take control of the game.

Already a strong contender for the Flying Fijians No.10 in the July Test matches, Tela plays a crucial role in organising the backline and guiding the forwards in this must-win clash

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