Fijian Drua Stun Crusaders in Historical 25-24 Win


By Naveel Krishant Fiji Village. The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua has created history as they stunned Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific defending champions the Crusaders 25-24 in a thriller at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

Kemu Valetini kicked a penalty in injury time to seal the win for the Drua.

The Drua players played the game of their lives as they shocked the Crusaders in many facets of the game.

Fiji Drua stun the Crusaders with a 25-24 in Round 3 of Super Rugby 2023 season. Photos: Super Rugby Pacific.

The Crusaders dominated the early exchanges and got a 12-0 lead.

The Drua were unfazed by this as Iosefo Masi picked up a loose ball inside his own half and raced away to get the Drua’s first try.

The Drua had another chance to score but they were unsuccessful as the Crusaders took a 12-5 halftime lead.

The Drua started to dominate the second half and fullback Ilaisa Droasese scored next to the post to level the scores.

Joseva Tamani who has been having a stellar season then dived over for the third try before the returning Eroni Sau got on the score sheet as the Drua were leading 22-12.

The Crusaders got two quick tries to take a 24-22 lead in the last minute of the match.

The Drua were awarded a scrum from a Crusaders knock on and from that play they attacked the Crusaders line and got a penalty.

Kemu Valetini did not make any mistakes as he slotted the penalty and sent the crowd at Churchill Park into a frenzy.

Drua Captain Tevita Ikanivere says they could feel the fans as the 16th player on the field.

Crusaders winger Sevu Reece. Photo: Fiji Village.

In an interview with fijivillage News after the match, Crusaders winger Sevu Reece said Drua will upset more teams this season.

He says it is the best feeling ever to play in the West in front of the family especially his mum and dad.

Reece, who said he’s a big fan if Fiji 7s legend Jerry Tuwai, said they cannot blame the weather for their loss.

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Match Report

77th minute – The Crusaders get their fourth try. Conversion is successful. Drua 22 vs Crusaders 24

74th minute – Sevu Reece gets the Crusaders first points of the second half. Conversion unsuccessful. Drua 22 vs Crusaders 17

67th minute – Eroni Sau powers over for the Drua’s fourth try. Conversion unsuccessful. Drua 22- 12

65th minute – The Drua have completey stunned the Crusaders with brilliant attacking and defence.

60th minute – Joseva Tamani scores another try for Fijian Drua.

54th minute – The Drua are now dominating possession and terrority as the Crusaders make mistakes.

50th minute – Ilaisa Droasese scores a try next to the post to send the crowd in a frenzy. Conversion is successful. Drua 12 vs Crusaders 12.

46th minute – Drua wins a scrum penalty against the Crusaders and they opt for a lineout42nd minute – Drua win a turnover inside Crusaders half and go on the attack.

Second half – Fijian Drua vs Crusaders

35th minute – Apisalome Vota knockson after a brilliant break from Frank Lomani. Drua 5 vs Crusaders 12 .

30th minute – Iosefo Masi picks up a loose ball and races away to score a try. The conversion is unsuccessful . Drua 5 vs Crusaders 12.

29th minute – Eroni Sau with a big hit on Sevu Reece and wins a turnover.

25th minute – Drua keep the pressure on and get another penalty. Sevu Reece manages to clear the danger.

24th minute – Drua get a penalty close to the Crusaders try line.

21st minute – Relentless pressure from the Crusaders as they score from a maul. Conversion successful. Drua 0 vs Crusaders 12

17th minute – Sam Whitelock loses possession as he was trying to score a try.

14th minute – Crusaders get a scrum inside the Drua half as the Drua concede a knockon

11th minute – The Crusaders cross over for the first try from a set piece move from the lineout. Conversion unsuccessful. Drua 0 vs Crusaders 5

10th minute – Drua concede a penalty in their 22 as the Crusaders go for a lineout.

5th minute – Drua maintain possession and are mounting the pressure on the Crusaders defence but Sam Whitelock wins a turnover.

3rd minute – Drua gets a penalty inside Crusaders 22. They opt for the kick. Teti Tela misses from the front.

2nd minute – Drua get a penalty as the Crusaders were offside.

1st minute – Crusaders get possession from the kick-off and go on the attack. Drua turnover and get a penalty.