Super Rugby Pacific | Fans to cheer on boys

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua halfback Frank Lomani practices his kicking during the team's captain's run at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch, NZ, yesterday. Picture: FIJIAN DRUA

It would be safe to assume that by 7pm tonight, the whole of Fiji will come to a standstill, with families and friends huddled in groups – eyes glued to the TV screen or their smartphones.

Tonight the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua takes on the Crusaders in the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals at Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Crusaders lost to the Drua in round three this season 24-25 at Churchill Park in Lautoka, and expectations are high that the Fijians will repeat this feat, despite not having the live vocal and roaring support of its loyal and faithful fans.

But you can bet your last dollar that the cheers here at home will be just as loud.

A random survey through the streets of Suva yesterday found hyped up fans who were counting down the hours.

Mereani Raikagaga of Tailevu said this Drua side is just different and she believed they were driven and hungry enough to secure a win.

“My family and I will be watching the game from the comfort of our home in Nadawa, with flags and wearing our jerseys cheering on top of our lungs for our boys,” she said.

“The rugby match today is very important as it will give the people of Fiji a sense of pride at having their country represented at an international level by these very talented hardworking young men that make up this amazing team.

“All the best boys. Go Drua Go!”

The Fiji Times team also met young Drua fan, Adi Fane Talei, who is looking forward to turn a “rugby grief” into jubilant celebration.

The Navua lass said when the boys run onto the field tonight, she will be cheering for her grandfather who died last week while watching the Drua’s last match.

“I’m really hoping for our Drua side to win as I would like to dedicate it to my grandfather, Josefa Sadulu Turaga from Rewa, Nalase,” she said.

“The 75-year-old has been a die-hard fan and has watched all Drua games.

“He is a true fan whether they win or lose. He has a lot of admiration for just how talented and disciplined they are.

“Watching them always brought him a sense of pride, seeing our boys play against international teams.

“Unfortunately, his joy after the recent game took his life. He was watching the game from his home in Makoi, and because he had a heart problem, with a lot of cheers and excitement, he collapsed and died. His funeral was yesterday (Thursday).

“With the family in mourning, we wish the Drua side all the best and we will be belting out the loudest cheers, hoping for a great win – for Fiji and for my grandfather. Go Drua Go.”

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