Drua win historic Super Rugby clash against Moana Pasifika

The Fijian Drua have won a historic encounter against Moana Pasifika in an afternoon of high-flying, hard-hitting Super Rugby Pacific action on Saturday in Sydney.

In the first-ever clash between the two Pacific expansion sides, it was the Drua who were able to come out on top 34-19 to claim their second win of the season.

The Drua got off to the perfect start in the fifth minute as No.8 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta finished off eight phases of play to bundle over the line and score.

Moana Pasifika looked to respond straight away, making their way into the Drua's territory shortly after the restart but - as they did for much of the afternoon - handling errors cost them.

On this occasion, a loose offload went to ground and bounced up perfectly for Drua wing Vinaya Habosi to scoop up and blitz his way down the left sideline 60 metres to score the Fijian side's second try after just seven minutes.

From there, the two sides traded tries as Solomone Funaki broke the goose egg for Moana Pasifika before Apisalome Vota pushed the Drua's lead back out with 10 minutes to go in the second half.

Solomone Funaki makes a run against the Fijian Drua.

Moana Pasifika had the last laugh of the half though as they used a five-metre lineout to drive and score through Abraham Pole.

Moana had one last chance to strike after the hooter went for the break and they appeared to do so with Timoci Tavatavanawai diving over in the left corner.

However, after referee James Doleman awarded the try he stopped time as the conversion was taking place to see whether the final pass of the play was forward.

Replays showed that it was and so he took the try away, leaving Moana Pasifika trailing 12-24 at the break.

After halftime, the two sides tussled to take control of the match but handling errors were creeping in to stunt any momentum.

Eventually, the errors led to a penalty in Moana's favour, setting them up for another lineout move which, yet again, resulted in a five-pointer.

Tavatavanawai was finally rewarded after being denied earlier as he soared to take a crossfield kick and reduce the deficit to 24-19 entering the final 20 minutes of the game.

The Drua stayed composed though, pushing the score back out beyond two scores initially through a Teti Tala penalty before Vota's second try sealed the match in the 71st minute.

In a painful finish to the match for both the players and fans, another try was taken away after being rewarded as this time it was the Drua who were punished by the TMO after the hooter.

Moana will come away from the match knowing their ball handling needs work but the lineout was a big positive for them, setting up multiple tries and threatening the Drua's pack.

However 20 turnovers will always be hard to overcome and on Saturday afternoon against a counter-attacking Drua side, it proved too much.

Fijian Drua 34 [Apisalome Vota 2, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Vinaya Habosi tries; Teti Tela 4 con, 2 pen]

Moana Pasifika 19 [Solomone Funaki, Abraham Pole, Timoci Tavatavanawai tries; Lincoln McClutchie 1 con, William Havili 1 con]

Halftime: 24-12


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