WATCH: Debutant Taniela Rakuro scores try at the death to seal Fijian Drua’s win over Moana Pasifika
Fijian Drua debutant Taniela Rakuro came off the replacements bench and scored the match-winning try in the dying moments of their Super Rugby Pacific opener against Moana Pasifika in Auckland on Saturday.
The home side thought they had won the game when their captain Christian Lealiifano slotted a penalty in the 69th minute but, despite trailing 34-31 on the scoreboard, the Drua had other ideas and launched an attack down the right-hand side of the field in the 77th minute.
Selestino Ravutaumada took on Moana‘s defence before offloading to Rakuro on the edge of their opponents’ 22. The young wing broke infield and slipped close to the try-line but kept his composure before diving over in the corner to clinch the victory for his side.
In a hard-fought and entertaining encounter, Moana Pasifika made a fantastic start as Abraham Pole, and Chris Apoua scored tries in quick succession, with Lealiifano adding one conversion to give his side a 12-0 lead by the 10th minute.
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Tevita Ikanivere and Michael Curry traded tries after that, and Lealiifano added another two-pointer which meant the hosts had their tails up with the score 19-5 in their favour by the 25th minute.
The Drua struck back with five-pointers from Joseva Tamani and Iosefo Masi, which were both converted by Teti Tela, but a converted try from Danny Toala in the latter stages of the half gave Moana a 26-19 lead at half-time.
The visitors made a bright start to the second half when Ikanivere crossed the whitewash again, but his effort was cancelled out when Pole also scored his second try. That meant Moana held a 31-24 lead, but the sides were soon level when Masi went over the try-line again and Caleb Muntz kicked the conversion.
That set up a thrilling finish, with Lealiifano’s penalty giving his team the lead before Rakuro’s heroics clinched a memorable win for the Drua.
Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific
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The article WATCH: Debutant Taniela Rakuro scores try at the death to seal Fijian Drua’s win over Moana Pasifika appeared first on Planetrugby.com.