In the hunt
22 September, 2018, 10:00 am
STILL on the hunt for that elusive first win away from home, the Fiji Airways Drua team once again amends its starting line-up to face Sydney Rays tomorrow in the next round of the National Rugby Championship (NRC).
Head coach Senirusi Seruvakula has made eight changes from his starting line-up after last week’s hammering in Queensland. John Dyer, Jone Manu, Tevita Naqali and Serupepeli Vularika earn their first start of the season tomorrow.
And making their NRC debut off the bench will be Namosi lock forward Alifereti Rabukawaqa and Naitasiri’s top finisher, Asaeli Atunaisa. Seruvakula said the team had to play its game tomorrow and leave no room for errors.
“We want to start well and not give them any space or opportunity to gain confidence or edge against us,” Seruvakula said.
“From our kick-off and as long as we play to our game pattern, we have to be tight in our line-outs and scrums. We should be able to assert dominance,” he said.
Vularika will pivot the backine shifting NRC Rising Star nominee Alifereti Veitokani to full-back and Apisalome Waqatabu to the bench. Seruvakula once again stressed that discipline was the key to win, but at the same time could be also their weakness. “It is really important for us to get our penalties down and minimise it when we give away possession.
We have seen that the Australians score points off penalties and we need to focus on our process and not give them the opportunities to apply that pressure and score points.”
Enforcer Eremasi Radrodro replaces Peni Raidre at No.8 and his aggression to the game and will aid more firepower to the Drua forward pack.
The rejigged backline of Kurumudu, Manu, Reece and Daveta will try to reignite the spark the Drua lit during the first two rounds of the season.
Looking forward to end their away tour on a high note, Seruvakula believes the run-on team will get the job done.
“It’s going to be a tough game and we need the win before we return home on Monday”.
The Sydney Rays will host the Fiji Airways Drua at Concord Oval tomorrow 5pm (Fiji time).
Fiji Airways Drua team. Team: 1 Joeli Veitayaki, 2. Ratunaisa Navuma, 3. Mosese Ducivaki, 4. Tevita Naqali, 5. Albert Tuisue, 6. Eremasi Radrodro, 7. Mosese Voka, 8. Johnny Dyer, 9. Frank Lomani, 10.Serupepeli Vularika, 11. Levani Kurumudu, 12. Jone Manu, 13. Cyril Reece, 14. Apete Daveta, 15. Alivereti Veitokani. Reserves: 16. Mesulame Dolokoto, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Alifereti Rabukawaqa, 19. Peni Naulago, 20. Peni Raidre, 21. Peni Matawalu, 22. Apisalome Waqatabu, 23. Asaeli Atunaisa.