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Watch: Absolutely rapid Drua wing Habosi burns the Highlanders twice

By Sam Smith
(Source/Sky Sport NZ)

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The Fijian Drua may have uncovered the game’s next star finisher in Vinaya Habosi who burned the Highlanders twice early to set up tries in front of a packed house in Suva.

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The 22-year-old left winger has impressed in early Super Rugby Pacific matches against Australian teams, having a standout performance against the Rebels in Melbourne where he beat 10 defenders in one night.

It took two minutes for Habosi to get his first chance against the Highlanders, when he streaked down the left hand touchline after an offload from the Drua’s right wing Selestino Ravutaumada.

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The nearest defender was Aaron Smith who could not keep pace with the blistering winger. His inside pass found halfback Frank Lomani who gave the Drua the best possible start by finishing under the posts.

Habosi’s next big play was electric after the Highlanders were turned over at the ruck. The ball was spread to the wing where he stood up Sam Gilbert and went around the outside.

Outpacing the cover defence of Mitch Hunt and Fetuli Paea, he burnt down the touchline to go 75 metres to score an incredible try which sent the Suva crowd into raptures.

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“That was a full 80 minute effort – a hell of a game and I’m so proud of our boys for sticking in there,” Highlanders skipper and halfback Aaron Smith told Stan Sport.

“We knew the Fijians were going to be very dangerous as they’re a team who can score out of nothing and they got a couple of early ones but we stuck to our plan.”

Drua captain Meli Derenalagi was disappointed they couldn’t deliver a first-up win.

“We knew the Highlanders were going to come at us and I’m proud of the effort of the boys, trying to stay competitive and playing 80 minute rugby,” he said.

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