21 Oct 2019

Sport: Fijian Drua let big lead slip in NRC semi defeat

7:31 am on 21 October 2019

The Fijian Drua have missed out on a place in the Australian National Rugby Championship grand final after the Canberra Vikings came from three tries down to win 28-27 with a converted try after the full-time siren.

Peni Naulago, Serupepeli Vularika and Tevita Ikanivere all scored as the Drua opened up a commanding 22-0 half-time lead at Viking Park.

But, with the wind at their backs in the second half, the home side responded with three tries of their own after the interval to cut the deficit to one point with 28 minutes remaining.

Replacement hooker Ratunaisa Nauma scored the fourth try for the Drua to extend their lead to six points with 18 minutes to play and with time ticking away the defending champions looked set to advance to a second straight final appearance.

But fullback Tom Banks scored in stoppage time and Noah Lolesio kicked the match-winning conversion to give Canberra a dramatic victory, setting up a title decider away to the Western Force in Perth.