By Alipate Pareti
Despite the gloomy, cold, wet and rainy day, the Fijian Drua fans still turned up in numbers to support their team in the HFC Bank stadium in Suva.
This was the last home game of the season, and a lot was riding on the result as the Drua had to beat the Reds to qualify for the Super Rugby Pacifica quarterfinals.
Samuela Kautoga, 67, traveled from Pacific Harbour to watch the game, and was one of the first spectators through the gates.
“I believe I’m blessed to be here. This is my first time to come and watch the Fijian Drua game live in person because I’ve only watched it through my TV at home.”
Kautoga was pleased with the Drua’s performance so far.
“We can see the difference in their preparations from how our Fijian teams prepared in the past. They have really done well for these two years that they have now matched up well with the big teams in the competition.”
Kautoga is also excited for the team’s future.
“I think the Fijian Drua have now changed the course of Fijian rugby. It’s going to exciting to see how things turn out in years to come.”
Another Fijian Drua supporter at the grounds on Saturday was 29-year-old Normondross Panapasa.
The Rotuman lad was himself a quality rugby prospect back in his high school days at Queen Victoria School.
“I came here today just to support our Drua boys because I know this will go down in history when they qualify into the quarterfinals. So, I want to be part of it and encourage them, cheer them on and to be the 16th player on the field.
“Even if the weather is bad, raining or even a cyclone, a real Fijian will come out and support our boys when they play”.
He says it’s clear the team has shown they are listening and learning during training.
“To my QVS Old Boys in the Drua, I believe most of you are key players in your team so that means you have to help each other. Some are playing in the Super Rugby teams overseas but for us here, thank you for hanging in there and helping our team grow,” he said.