Drua make history in Super W win over Brumbies in Nadi

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Fijiana Drua have celebrated their homecoming with a win over the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images

The Fijiana Drua have celebrated an historic Super W rugby home clash in Nadi with a gritty 12-7 win over the Brumbies.

The Drua were based in Australia last year in their debut season when they swept all before them to win the title undefeated.

At home at Prince Charles Park in Nadi for the first time, the Drua were not as impressive with the ball as they were last season, but their defensive resolve was top notch in the round-one clash with the Brumbies on Saturday.

Drua skipper Bitila Tawake was jubilant after the victory which she said “created history for women in rugby” in Fiji.

“There was a lot of pressure. In the first 30 minutes the Brumbies gave us a tough time but we got two tries and the girls kept it together,” she said.

It was the first Brumbies team, male or female, to play in Fiji.

The revamped Drua had eight debutants in their run-on team as well as six newcomers on the bench, which explained the lack of cohesion at times in steamy and wet conditions.

The Brumbies had all the field position early but the Drua broke clear in a 75m play where winger Adita Miliana streaked away to set up fullback Lavenia Tinai for the opener.

Tinai played with great verve and was a handful for the Brumbies’ defence.

Brumbies winger Biola Dawa came up with two massive defensive plays to save tries while captain Siokapesi Palu made determined charges at inside centre to give her side direction.

The Drua led 7-0 at halftime before Tinai chimed into the backline to send speedy winger Laisani Moceisawana over in the corner on debut.

Moceisawana is a 100m and 200m sprint champion and showed why she is a player of great promise after putting on the afterburners.

The Brumbies dominated in the scrums and had opportunities close to the line but were unable to ice them until Wallaroos star Grace Kemp went low to score the visitor’s only try.

The Brumbies lost lock Ash Fernandez (hand) and centre Harmony Ioane (leg) to injury in the first half.

The Drua had centre Vani Va’aga Arei sin-binned for a high shot in the second half. Centre partner Merewei Cumu stepped up with some punishing defence and they hung on to win.

Brumbies captain Palu said she was proud of her troops.

“We knew it was going to be physical and in the environment, we played in with their crowd behind them…I think we actually gave it to them. We can build from here,” she said.

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