Coach Byrne impressed with Fijian Drua’s physicality


-Fijian Drua coach Mick Byrne is impressed with the level of physicality the side has shown in the past seven matches of the Super Rugby Pacific.

“There’s been a lot of learning and I’m pleased with the physicality.”

“We are clearing out the rucks better this year and working on our tackle tricks as well. We are getting our shoulders under the ball and hitting through.”

Byrne said the side was weak in their tackle play last season but they have become hard and strong in that area.

“We know our boys are physical, they are tough and we get feedback every week from the opposition players. Our guys are hard to tackle and when they get hit in the tackle, they know they’ve been tackled.”

“We know we’ve got the physicality. It’s just understanding how to use it and this year our forwards have worked really hard at the breakdown area being physical in the carries better than we did last year.”

Drua fly-half Kemu Valetini, winger Salesitino Ravutaumada and Skipper Tevita Ikanivere are back in the training for the clash against the Chiefs on Friday.

Byrne confirmed that Valetini has returned from a shoulder injury that he sustained against the Highlanders.

He said Ravutaumada and Ikanivere, who were rested last week, are ready for selection for Friday’s match.

Meanwhile, Byrne says Super Rugby Pacific leaders, the Chiefs will field their best lineup on Friday and they will have to match the level of physicality of the All Blacks in the team.

Byrne said the Chiefs are always trying out a different style of footy and they have some really good open-field players.

“They also have a tough up front. The first place we got to meet them is in the physicality aspect of the game.”

“We are gaining a lot of confidence in the way we play and need to get on them when we can and our boys realise that when they carry strong, they make some good game.”

“Again we got another challenge this week and the Chiefs have got some individual players. They are laced with some fit All Blacks players and they’ll probably field their best side.”

“They have a good side and that’s why they are sitting on top in the competition.”

Drua faces the Chiefs at the FMG Stadium in Waikato at 7.05pm on Friday.