Fiji Drua's sublime rugby too good for Brisbane City - Green and Gold Rugby
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Fiji Drua’s sublime rugby too good for Brisbane City

Fiji Drua’s sublime rugby too good for Brisbane City

After a first up loss to the Western Force last week, how would Brisbane City react against the Drua, in what is arguably the hardest road trip in the NRC. With only minimal changes to the squad, there was opportunity to build combinations, but ultimately what would the scoreboard say?

The Match:

The first ten minutes were relatively quiet as both sides tried to work their way into the game, a bit of back and forth. There were some warning signs there for City as the Drua threatened. At this point you also sensed that it didn’t matter if they were in their own 22, the Drua would still chance their arm.

It was this point that the floodgates opened and there they would remain for the rest of the game. Eremasi Radrodro was the first to get his name on the scoresheet, easy conversion to Waqatubu and it’s 7-0.

Just two minutes later the Drua travel two thirds the length of the field and Levani Kurumundu dots down, another easy conversion and all of a sudden it is 14-0 after just 14 minutes.

City already looked shellshocked at this point with little imagination. I know it is a stereotype to the Fijian flair but that is really how the Drua looked to play and it soon paid dividends through livewire half Frank Lomani. Waqatubu must be thanking his tryscorers today with another easy kick, 21-0 after 22.

Once again the Drua go back to back with tries, this time Waqatubu gets the try after a great run from Alivereti Veitokani. 28-0 after 25 minutes after the successful conversion.

If it was anywhere that you thought that City might have an edge it was at the set piece, with the all-Reds front row, and while JP Smith didn’t give up all day, the Drua fought them to a draw which really did help set the tone and give the backline the freedom to run it from absolutely everywhere.

City did manage to hold the Drua out until just about halftime, when Kurumundu scored again just to the left of the uprights. Waqatubu could have thrown all these conversions and it is 35-0 at halftime.

rams v drua nrc 2017-2

The Drua looked to spin it wide at any opportunity.

You had to wonder what sort of speech Mick Heenan would have given the team at half time, given the game was really as good as over by this point. It was probably about effort, consistency and structure. Sadly for most of the team it was in one ear and out the other as the tries kept raining down.

Lomani got in for his second at 50 minutes and then Cyril Reece capped off another long-range effort on 52 minutes. Waqatubu converted both and it is 49-0. The foot hadn’t come off City’s throat and it didn’t look like it was going to.

When Kurumundu scored his third, capping off a 70m try, I really did start to feel sorry for City. Finally Jayden Ngamanu broke the drought with a try on 66 minutes, it was 56-5 by this point.

Two more long range tries by the Drua were really just to please the crowd, with hard working flanker Moses Voka and also Tevita Naqali getting over.

At this point, referee Jordan Way had seen enough and called time on what was an absolutely convincing 66-5 win.

Brisbane City were outplayed in almost every facet of the game today, in metres gained, offloads and tackle busts, and were pretty much matched at the set piece. Quade Cooper could not get any real momentum and once the game looked over you sensed that he mentally clocked off and couldn’t or wouldn’t drag the team with him.

Karmichael Hunt looked good with a dozen or so runs and JP Smith would also have come close to leading the team in run metres.


THE GAME CHANGER

It really was the case that once the first try was scored, it seemed to be all over. The Drua oozed class and confidence, and the running game they love to play really came up trumps today. This did nothing to change my mind that they will be in the semis.

THE GAGR MOTM

This game threw up a number of Drua players that this could have gone to. Frank Lomani and Alivereti Veitokani could have easily both picked up the gong after monster games. Lomani surely won’t be without a contact somewhere other than Fiji at this rate. However, Levani Kurumundu gets it today, 124 run metres, three tries, four tackle busts and three offloads.

RISING STAR WATCH

To fit in with the new award being awarded by the NRC for those with limited Super Rugby (or test in the Drua’s case) experience, the brains at GAGR will also be picking their Rising Star in each game. Today in the Drua fullback Apisolome Waqatubu we have a standout contender. A try, 8 from 10 with the boot, and a couple of line breaks and broken tackles showed the potential he has to take the next step.


The Details

Fiji Drua: 66

Tries: Levani Kurumudu 3, Frank Lomani 2, Eremasi Radrodro, Apisalome Waqatubu, Cyril Reece, Mosese Voka, Tevita Naqali

Conversions: Apisalome Waqatubu 8/10

Brisbane City: 5

Tries: Jayden Ngamanu

Conversions: Quade Cooper 0/1

Highlights courtesy of Rugby.com.au

  • Hoss

    Thanks Ben. Great write-up. No better sIte in world rugby than a Fijian side with its tail
    up, unless of course your on the end of it all.The athleticism , the skill sets, the pure joy.

    Great stuff.

    • Ben Marczyk

      Thanks. Appreciate it. It was actually hard to put together but boy was it pretty to watch the sheer joy of Fijian rugby in full flight.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Absolute demolition. Big statement by the Drua, they’ve just showed themselves to be real title contenders today.

    As for Brisbane, it was a tough gig opening up their season with those two games. Not really sure where they can go from here.

    Quality footy as always

    • Ben Marczyk

      Me either. It isnt as if they have left much firepower on the bench in these first two games. You’d be making changes for the sake of it. Maybe they just keep swinging and hope they connect at some point.

  • hbagagwa

    ︆Thank︆s︆s B︆r︆︆o︆t︆ha︆!︆! I︆’︆v︆e f︆︆o︆u︆n︆d t︆h︆e︆r︆e m︆︆y Te︆︆a︆c︆h︆e︆r N︆︆a︆ke︆d ! m︆w︆a︆h︆a︆h︆h

    • lann95181

      ︆H︆a︆hh︆a︆h lu︆︆c︆k︆y ︆m︆a︆n

  • GO THE Q REDS

    What an awesome display of skills. A show that will no doubt be talked about for a long long time. Some of the most crazy and bizarre offloads and flick passes I’ve ever seen in bucket loads. No team could stand up to that.
    But I’ll contest Hunt did not have a solid game as pronounced above, he dropped a neat Cooper flick pass cold with the try line in front of him, passed a couple of terribly weighted cut out passes to no-one, made no tackle busts and very few metres or impact from just as few hitups. Not his greatest game in a long time personally. His head spent nearly every moment pointed at the ground in annoyance everytime his involvement in play brokedown.
    I’d say also. .. .after an impressive 1st game last week.. . the fullback had a shocker this week too. And just like last week, it was mostly the forwards and loose forwards that let the team down in open play far far too often.
    I’m guessing every NRC team now knows exactly what to do to beat City this year. Outscore a still pretty classy and dangerous backline and run the forwards around the park for the win.

  • juswal

    Wow.

    The NRC is a third tier comp; the Drua are clearly second-tier quality.

  • disqus_NMX

    Insane offloading skills by the Drua! And bursting through the line at speed made the Bris defence look pedestrian.

  • Bernie Chan

    Great win by the Drua…

Rugby
@Ben_Marczyk

Passionate about rugby from the grass roots up. Usually found at Brisbane club rugby games, or being involved in the junior and schools system. Love a chat, happy to admit when I'm wrong. I will watch any game of rugby regardless of who is playing, from juniors through to tests

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