WATCH: Iosefo Masi’s superb offload in Fijian Drua’s victory over Hurricanes

David Skippers
Iosefo Masi offload Fijian Drua v Hurricanes SRP 2023.jpg

Fijian Drua outside centre Iosefo Masi caught the eye with an outstanding offload in the build-up to a try in his side’s 27-24 win over the Hurricanes in their Super Rugby Pacific clash in Suva on Saturday.

With the score 10-7 in the Hurricanes’ favour, the Drua launched an attack from a scrum inside their opponents’ 22. After setting up another phase through Kalaveti Ravouvou, Frank Lomani found Masi with a long pass close to the Hurricanes’ try-line.

Masi still had plenty of work to do but did brilliantly to draw in three defenders before freeing his arms to offload to the on-rushing Taniela Rakuro, who cantered in for the try.

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Lomani slotted the conversion to give the home side a deserved 14-10 lead and set up a tense finish against their more fancied opponents. Earlier, Rakuro opened the scoring for the Drua with a well-taken converted try in the 18th minute before Julian Savea touched down for a five-pointer for the visitors on the half-hour mark, which meant the Drua held a slender 7-5 lead at half-time.

The Hurricanes drew first blood shortly after the restart when the former All Black wing crossed the whitewash again – a momentous score as it drew him level with former Wallabies and Waratahs full-back Israel Folau as Super Rugby’s all-time record of 60 tries.

Rakuro then went over for his second five-pointer before the Hurricanes struck back via converted tries from Xavier Numia and Du’Plessis Kirifi which gave them a 24-14 lead midway through the half.

That would be the last time they would score points, however, as the Drua upped the ante on attack and were rewarded with a Meli Derenalagi try which Kemu Valetini converted.

That narrowed the gap to three points but the Drua finished stronger and sealed their victory courtesy of two well-taken penalties from Valetini in the game’s closing stages.

Video credit: Super Rugby Pacific

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