31 Oct 2017

Sport: Fijian Drua demanding big improvements

12:41 pm on 31 October 2017

The Fijian Drua say big improvements are needed if they're to extend their debut season for a further week.

The Drua confirmed their spot in the Australian National Rugby Championship semi finals on Saturday, despite a 36-29 defeat by the Sydney Rays in Suva.

The Fijian Drua find some space.

The Fijian Drua find some space. Photo: Rugby Australia

Coach Senirusi Seruvakula said he was proud of his players for reaching the knockout rounds but admitted they were lucky to be there after a third loss in four games.

"We did not do well in the first 60 minutes and we came back in the last 20 minutes but we cannot afford catch-up rugby playing in this level," he said.

"We just have to be smart going into a game on a Saturday and play according to our game pattern and everyone just has to be focused from the start and we did not do that on Saturday.

"We did not do that on Saturday and we can't carry that attitude into this semi final - it gets tougher as we move close to the final and we learned a lot of positives from last week".

The Sydney Rays attack the Drua line.

The Sydney Rays attack the Drua line. Photo: Rugby Australia

The Drua introduced a number of new faces to the starting line-up against the Rays, after six players left with the Flying Fijians squad on their Northern Hemisphere tour.

Senirusi Seruvakula said it will take them time to adjust.

"It's a big step, especially a lot of them this is their first time to be on the run-on (team) and some of them came onto the bench.

"Those six that left, that's the pathway that we wanted - for them to play test rugby and for other guys to step up and show their talent. It's going to be a big preparation for them again - especially they are the ones who can no longer are going to rely on anyone else rather than them, they need to build their confidence as we move on".

The third placed Drua will travel to second-placed Queensland Country this weekend, while the table topping Canberra Vikings will host Perth Spirit in the other semi final.

The Fijian Drua and Sydney Rays team pose together post-match.

The Fijian Drua and Sydney Rays team pose together post-match. Photo: Rugby Australia