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Fijiana Drua claim back-to-back Super W titles

(Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Fijiana Drua have claimed back-to-back Super W titles in just their second season in the competition with a pulsating 38-30 win over the Queensland Reds in Townsville.


The Drua ran in three quick second-half tries to blow out the margin after they had taken a 14-10 lead into the halftime sheds.

Reds centre Alana Elisaia’s blindside beating of two defenders put Renae Nona over minutes after the break and the Reds had the lead and momentum at 17-14.

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But lightning struck twice for Fiji after pressuring the Reds in their own half.

A breakaway run by skipper Bitila Tawake off a maul was somehow offloaded backwards to Sereima Leweniqila for a diving finish.

From the restart the Fijians were flying once again, Karalaini Naisewa broke a couple of tackles to open up Queensland’s defence, and then a right edge hands play put Adita Milinia over.

In the blink of an eye, the Drua had turned a three-point deficit into an 11-point lead.

Luisa Basei’s penalty goal added three more to their tally before Naisewa made a strip in a tackle on halfway and pinned the ears back to score the Drua’s third of the second half.

Queensland would cross twice more through hooker Tiarna Molloy and Sam Curtis in the final 15 minutes but the damage was done as the Drua turned a fourth-place overall finish in 2023 into another championship.



For the Reds, the loss marks another year of heartache for the club who are now zero wins from five Super W grand finals.

Both sides promised to bring a distinct level of physicality to the contest and it was the Drua that showed their cards early in the first half, opting to flood midfield with their burgeoning pack and force the Reds to throw numbers their way.

But Queensland secured a faster start when a Drua turnover in their own half led to Elisaia pouncing on broken play and beating two defenders for the opening try.

The Drua hit back immediately when Tawake extended from the base of a ruck and they had the lead when a beautiful piece of counter-attacking play led to a 50m try.


Queensland threatened down the left edge off a set-piece play that was coughed up cheaply and Drua flanker Sulita Waisega cracked the defensive line before finding Mereoni Nakesa to score under the posts.

At 14-7, errors on either side of the ball led to a tight arm wrestle in the middle of the park before the Drua found themselves defending multiple phases off ruck infringements and penalties.

The Reds looked their best when centres Cecilia Smith and Elisaia combined but too many deep territory errors cost them a shot at any further tries in the opening 40 minutes.


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