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Drua's final run

Kameli Rakoko
Saturday, October 28, 2017

SENIRUSI Seruvakula's Fiji Airways Drua side have one final mountain to dynamite to its foundations.

It is not only today's clash against the Sydney Rams at the ANZ Stadium in the final round of the NRC competition.

Put the semi-final and final into the same box and light the fuse. Boom

They call it the final flourish, the coup de grace, the killer instinct at the finishing of the race. It's not only how you run the race but how you finish it.

The masters of the great finishers or comeback Kings, the invincible New Zealand All Blacks, showed they were only humans when they came short of repeating what they have always done before against the Wallabies.

That lesson was resonated several times around the rugby paddocks beginning with the Sukuna Bowl on Friday followed by the Fiji Drua on Saturday afternoon and the Bledisloe Cup match win by the Wallabies.

The Aussies with Fijians Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete and Tevita Kuridrani shocked the All Blacks with a 22-18 victory.

While the Bledisloe had already been won the Kiwis may have just given their cross-Tasman rivals the needed injection to further believe in their ability and propel themselves into bigger things.

Koroibete's try was a gem and he may have stamped his spot on that left wing position for the Wallabies in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Seruvakula may not have the depth of talents he began with but when fifteen Drua players run onto the paddock the expectation from rugby fans would in no way have been depleted. They expect the Fiji Airways Drua to further lift their game.

After going into the competition rated underdogs and criticisms on lack of coaching structure after their loss to Brisbane City in the opening game, they have embarrassed a lot of Aussie coaches by thrashing their teams along the way and established their place in the top four.

Six of the Drua players have forced their way into John McKee's Flying Fijians team to play in the northern hemisphere.

It has also taken the likes of former All Blacks and current Super rugby coach Brad Thorne to work hard and dig deep to stop the Drua in Lautoka last week.

It was not the Drua's best game as they lost balls in the lineouts and were pushed around in scrums as key players have been injured.

Thorne's Western Force side had beaten top teams in Super Rugby because of their great defensive technique in stopping forward waves of attacks near trylines.

For Seruvakula it would have been the experience of a lifetime as a coach and yet his side have one more hurdle to get over.

After a tough long season of competition Fijian rugby is enjoying one of its busiest times in top level competition.

Sydney Rams won their last game and are also in the running for a semifinal spot.

The Drua will have to be patient and concentrate on keeping penalties low and work on the set pieces. Finally strength and conditioning should be perfect and not overloading the players.

A soundly recovered Drua is a very dangerous one, because when the passes stick to their hands no reef will stop them, the Great Barrier Reef included.

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