Mick wants good start | Byrne highlights penalties and discipline in loss to Blues

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Swire Shipping Fijian Drua hooker Tevita Ikanivere takes on the Auckland Blues defence during their round 1 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacifi c match in Whangarei, New Zealand on Saturday. Picture: FIJIAN DRUA

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua gave away eight penalties in the first 25 minutes of the Shop N Save Super Rugby clash against the Blues over the weekend.

Head coach Mick Byrne during the post-match press conference highlighted the Drua’s weaknesses in their opening match which eventually led to their 10-34 loss to the Blues in Whangarei, New Zealand.

He was not content with the performance of his men particularly in areas of discipline.

“Look back at the first 25, we made 23 phases to start the game and we dropped it on the line and then proceeded to give away penalties in the next 25 minutes so that’s something we need to fix,” he said.

“We carried well, we had the momentum going into the first part of the game, it would’ve been nice to cross the line there, start the game like that so we need to look at that too. Discipline, we gave away eight penalties in the first 25, it’s a tough kick from there, I thought we came back in the second spell, some of our tackles started to stick, we carried our ball a little bit better, and we got back into the game.”

The Drua has set the target of taking a step forward this season which means winning away games is a must in hopes of securing a home quarter-final.

This would mean the concept of ‘catch-up rugby’ should be dusted off the table.

“It’s hard to chase a game against the Blues, they’re a good side. You can’t go chasing them on their home ground so, we’ve got to look at managing that first 25 minutes better.”

The Drua travels to Melbourne this weekend where they will face Moana Pasifika on Saturday, 6pm at AAMI Park.

Drua and Moana met twice last year with the Fijian side coming out on top in both occasions winning 36-34 in round one and 47-46 later in May at Churchill Park.

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