Tamani shines in final Drua home game
4 June, 2023, 1:26 pm
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua lock Joseva Tamani had a memorable last match in front of home fans scoring a try to seal a 41-17 win against the Reds to help secure his side a spot in the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific playoffs.
Tamani is set to leave the Drua at the end of this season after securing an overseas contract.
The evening started with Selestino Ravutaumada diving over for the first try when he charged down a clearing kick from Reds winger Filipo Daugunu in the fourth minute.
Drua led 7-nil. Ryan Smith got the visitors on level terms when he barged over from close change for an instant response.
Quick thinking from outside centre Iosefo Masi put Kalaveti Ravouvou in the corner for the Drua’s se4cond as they led 12-7.
Fraser McReight sneaked through a gap and dived over for the Reds.
A successful conservation saw the Reds take a slender 14-12 lead. James O’Connor added a penalty to push the lead to 17-12.
Masi was at it again. This time his chip kick was collected by Vilive Miramira who dived over in the corner to see the teams rest at half-time tied 17-all.
The Drua dominated possession and territory in the second spell, scoring 24 unanswered points. In doing so, three tries were disallowed which could have seen the scores blowout.
A change of kickers saw halfback Frank Lomani put the Drua ahead 20-17 in the 44th minute.
The Drua applied relentless pressure on the Reds line and were rewarded when prop Mesake Doge sneaked through to increase the scores to 27-17.
It was in the 59th minute when hooker Tevita Ikanivere collected a loose ball from a Reds defensive lineout to dive over.
Tamani sealed the win five minutes from time racing 60 meters down the field to touchdown, sending the home fans into a frenzy.
The Drua is expected to meet the Crusaders or the Chiefs in the quarter-finals next week.
DRUA (1-15): Haereiti Hetet, Tevita Ikanivere, Mesake Doge, Isoa Nasilasila, Leone Rotuisolia, Joseva Tamani, Vilive Miramira, Meli Derenalagi (c), Frank Lomani, Caleb Muntz, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Teti Tela, Iosefo Masi, Eroni Sau, Selestino Ravutaumada, Reserves: Mesu Dolokoto, Meli Tuni, Samuela Tawake, Etonia Waqa, Elia Canakaivata, Peni Matawalu, Kemu Valetini, Michael Naitokani Reds (1-15): Peni Ravai, Matt Faessler, Zane Nonggorr, Angus Blyth, Ryan Smith, Seru Uru, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (c), James O’Connor, Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Josh Flook, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell Reserves: Richie Asiata, Dane Zander, Sef Fa’agase, Lopeti Faifua, Jake Upfield, Kalani Thomas, Tom Lynagh, Lawson Creighton