Featuring an upset to warm the hearts of all those who dislike the Crusaders.
Beat Crusaders 25-24. Record: 2-1. Last ranking: 9. Table position: 5.
Rise and shine. In their second year in the competition, and their first game of the season at home in Lautoka, the Drua have beaten the defending champions in front of a wildly supportive crowd. How? They were perhaps more used to the very hot conditions and were definitely facing a relatively lightweight backline, but it was their defensive grit and determination that got them home. The final-seconds penalty in front of the posts awarded by Brendon Pickerall which clinched it seemed debatable – a Crusaders defender appeared to be on his feet when contesting possession – but there was little doubt this result at the end of a thrilling match was fully deserved.
Lost to Drua 24-25. Record: 1-2. Last ranking: 4. Table position: 8
The big fallers this week. Scott Robertson took a big gamble in leaving out Richie Mo’unga and Leicester Fainga’anuku from this game because the Crusaders played like a team prepared to leave out their stars against a team prepared for the biggest match of their Super Rugby careers. The Crusaders’ lightweight backline - after David Havili’s departure with injury they finished the game with an inside back combination of rookie halfback Noah Lotham (who dropped a crucial re-start after the Crusaders had re-taken the lead), first five Fergus Burke and second five Dallas McLeod – lacked direction. Needless to say, the gamble was costly.