Editorial comment – Consistency, intensity!
27 March, 2023, 11:48 am
It was difficult for Fijian Drua fans to absorb that 24-57 loss to the Highlanders at the weekend.
Trailing 12-33 at the breather, the Drua were expected to come back in the final quarter.
They did come back, but it wasn’t good enough to overcome the Highlanders.
We had gone into the game with high hopes.
That 25-24 win over the champion Crusaders side at Churchill Park in Lautoka in Round 2, followed by that nailbiter 24-27 loss to the Reds the following weekend had fans rubbing their hands in glee.
You could sense it in the air.
Big things were up for grabs.
The signs were already pointing that way, and fans were enthusiastic, eager and confident of a good showing.
It had to happen.
When halfback Frank Lomani scored that first try against the Highlanders, emotions shot up.
Then the Highlanders, inspired by their centurion halfback Aaron Smith, came back firing.
They played to their strengths, controlled play upfront, and came off with a strong effort.
We were stuck!
We showed glimpses of magic when we attacked.
But it was our defensive shape that copped the brunt of the Highlanders’ march to victory.
We were caught wanting on the fringes of broken play, and we were outflanked by a side that picked holes in our defence.
Fans will be eager to welcome the Drua back home for the next round against the Rebels.
Fans will be eager to see the Drua work on their defensive shape, and keep the intensity throughout matches.
It’s not going to be a walk in the park though.
Super Rugby teams know what to expect from the Drua.
That win over the Crusaders has raised the profile of the Drua.
Our challenge now is to keep the faith, believe in our processes and structures, and believe in ourselves.
Fijian rugby needs the Drua to lead our charge in the Super Rugby Pacific competition.
Fans know we have what it takes to beat the top sides.
We know we have the calibre of players who can match the best in the business.
What we need now is consistency.
Again, that will mean belief in our systems, and in our wealth of talent.
No one said it was going to be easy.
How resilient are we?
How much do we want victory?
It was exciting to watch our attacks, and see how the Drua were cutting up the Highlanders’ defence when they had the opportunity.
The question though is whether we are up to the task of maintaining consistency and intensity against seasoned players and top sides every weekend?
Are we prepared to show up to the office so to speak consistently, with intensity?
It may just make a difference!
But how exciting it is to watch the development of our game!