The Queensland Reds’ Super Rugby Pacific home finals hopes have evaporated in a crushing homecoming for fallen Wallabies star Suliasi Vunivalu.

Vunivalu was sent off following two trips that cost the Reds dearly in a 28-19 loss to Fijian Drua in Suva.

Saturday’s defeat left Queensland in fifth spot, an unreachable 11 competition points behind the fourth-placed Chiefs with two rounds remaining.

Vunivalu could not have envisaged such a nightmare return to his native Fiji after leaving his side a player short for 30 minutes of the game.

His first leg trip on Drua flanker Kitiona Salawa left Australian referee Angus Gardner with no alternative than to award the home team a fourth-minute penalty try.

With Vunivalu in the sin bin, hooker Tevita Ikanivere also stormed over to earn the Drua a 10-0 lead inside eight minutes.

The Reds hit back with nice replies from winger Floyd Aubrey and five-eighth Lawson Creighton to only trail 15-14 at halftime.

But Vunivalu’s dismissal shortly after the break proved the tipping point.

This time he stuck a rogue leg out that caught his Fiji opposite Selestino Ravutaumada in the lead-up to Ikanivere’s second try of the day.

Down by 11 points and to 14 men, not even the introduction of veteran former Wallabies star James O’Connor could save the Reds.

They further shot themselves in the foot with wayward lineout throws and ill-disciplined penalties as the eighth-placed Drua all but shored up their own finals spot.

The visitors briefly had hope of snatching victory from the jaws of the defeat after a 77th-minute driving maul try to replacement forward George Blake.

Instead, the Reds were denied even a bonus point through a last-gasp Drua penalty goal from Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula that stretched the winning margin beyond seven points.

“Look, we got punched in the face a bit early. Our contact wasn’t good enough,” said Reds captain Liam Wright.

“We’ve fallen off tackles and Fiji run hard, especially in front of their own crowd. We knew they would after results in the past.

“Yeah, the fight, the bounce back was really good. We found a way back into that game, especially towards halftime.

“But probably the story of the game is that penalty before halftime. Ill-discipline crept in and just killed a few opportunities we created.”

The Reds finish the regular season with derbies against the Western Force and NSW Waratahs.

The best they can finish is fifth, most likely meaning a knockout quarter-final against either the Chiefs in New Zealand or ACT Brumbies in Canberra is on the cards.

Meanwhile, Fijian Drua will try and secure their first away win against the Highlanders in Dunedin this weekend.

Coach Mick Byrne said it would be an iconic moment if they get the victory on their last road-trip of the regular season, having lost all their previous away games this year.

Byrne said the players will take much confidence from the 28-19 win against the Queensland Reds over the weekend, as they head into the final two rounds of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific.

“We scrummed well, we carried well. Our defence at times was good as we have done during the year so we just need to have that mindset at the start of the game to come out and go after the game like we did and we will be fine.”

The Fijian Drua will travel to Dunedin on Friday for their clash against the Highlanders at 2:05pm on Sunday.