The Fijian Drua have condemned the reigning champion Canterbury Crusaders to their worst start since the first season of Super Rugby in 1996 with a 20-10 victory in front of a passionate home crowd in Lautoka.

The error-prone Crusaders struggled to deal with the steamy conditions as well as the power and pace of the Drua and slumped to three defeats in three matches in the new Super Rugby Pacific season under new coach Rob Penney.

The Drua defended defiantly and thoroughly deserved their second straight win over the 13-times Super Rugby champions after their last season’s victory at the same Churchill Park stadium.

“This win is not for us, it’s for the fans who always back us up,” said Drua captain Meli Derenalagi on Saturday.

“The last two games we were frustrated and disappointed with two losses. Today the boys were on fire as we defended our turf.”

The Crusaders, in a period of transition after the loss of longtime coach Scott Robertson to the All Blacks and flyhalf Richie Mo’unga to Japan, took a 10-0 lead in the 19th minute when Fiji-born winger Sevu Reece crossed for a converted try.

The Drua hit back with a penalty from flyhalf Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula before winger Selestino Ravutaumada finished a typically flamboyant move to send the teams into the break all square at 10-10.

Fiji scrumhalf Frank Lomani, who was outstanding leading the Drua around the park, scored the home side’s second try five minutes into the second half and another penalty from Armstrong-Ravula in the 72nd minute made the points safe.

“We didn’t execute, we just weren’t sharp and clinical as we’d like,” said Crusaders captain and All Blacks lock Scott Barrett.

“You give the Fijian Drua a sniff and they’ll punish you.”

Meanwhile, Fijian Drua Coach Mick Bryne praised his team’s defensive effort in their 20-10 morale boosting victory over the Crusaders saying strategy and discipline was key.

“We talked about it all week, being in form and playing our game. I think we did pretty well, especially in the second half where we really went after the game,” said Bryne

Bryne was particularly impressed with how the team managed to contain threats like Crusader’s star attack Sevu Reece.

“We made most of our tackles, which was crucial. Sevu Reece is known for breaking defenses, but we managed to shut him down.”

The coach also lauded the younger players for their significant contributions and growth within the team.

“The younger players have done well in team, they have contributed pretty well in the team, I’m proud of the way they are growing,”

Looking forward, Bryne remains focused on upcoming challenges, especially the match against the Chiefs.

“Against the Chiefs, we’ll just play our game, there are some tactical changes that we will need to look into, we’ll just need to look after ball and carry it well,” he concluded.