Fiji Drua eyes rugby history on home soil

Members of the Fiji Airways drua side at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

THE stage is set for the Fiji Airways Drua side to come out from its comfort zone and create history for Fiji rugby when the dust settles at Lautoka’s Churchill this afternoon.

A lot of is at stake for the Mosese Voka-captained side knowing that the Queensland Country side will be out to maintain its unbeaten run over the Fijians and at the same time deny the Drua the opportunity to create history.

Head coach Senirusi Seruvakula says the boys are ready to play the game of their lives and they know what is the required of them.

He said the players had been urged to play their hearts out and play as a team.

“We just need to play as team and bring out physicality in our game and build the momentum,” said Seruvakula.

“We just need to play smart and have possession at all times and be disciplined.

“Discipline at all times when we go in the set pieces and we just need to be patient rather than be frustrated every time we have the ball thinking we can score.

“We also need to play our game pattern and that is very important.

“Everyone has to be switched on and once we do that everything will go the way we want.”

He said the visitors would be a tough nut to crack and they would be out to deny the Drua the win.

Seruvakula said the side could not afford catch-up rugby and stressed the importance of making use of their scoring chances.

“We just need to have a good start and not chase rugby. It is important to put points every 10 minutes and we need to be focus and play hard.”

Since its debut season last year, the Drua only finished second best to the Country in their past three matches and the onus is on the Fijians to defy the odds and deliver the goods when it matters most.

Meanwhile Drua flyhalf Alivereti Veitokani was yesterday named the 2018 NRC Rising Star.

After a powerful performance throughout the season, the man responsible for much of that Drua magic showcased in their campaign has been duly rewarded for his effort.

In the first year of the NRC Rising Star award, which was created to recognise emerging players with fewer than three games in Super Rugby or for the Flying Fijians, Veitokani was nominated in round two.

In total seven players were nominated from the seven regular season rounds; with Andrew Deegan, Jock Campbell Archie King, Darcy Swain, Jack McGregor and Len Ikitau also selected alongside Veitokani.

A seven-man judging panel drawn from broadcaster FoxSports, RUGBY.com.au, Rugby Australia and fan site Green and Gold Rugby was asked to vote on a 3-2-1 basis for the winner.

Veitokani will again be a key man for the home side when they face defending NRC champion Queensland Country today

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