Fijian Drua snatch it late against Moana Pasifika

Fijian Drua outside back Taniela Rakuro will never forget his Super Rugby Pacific debut against Moana Pasifika at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium.

Rakuro was part of the Drua Academy earlier this week, before being named in the No. 23 jersey ahead of their season opener in New Zealand.

But the wingers debut couldn’t have gone any better.

In the dying stages of the game, Rakuro found himself in space – but dramatically slipped over mere metres from the try-line.

But it worked in his favour, as the covering defender slipped over. After getting to his feet, the debutant jotted the ball down for a memorable score with about three minutes to play – which can be seen above.

While there was still time left on the clock – about 90 seconds after the unsuccessful conversion – the Drua held on for a famous win.

“We’ve always said to our boys in their second year, we just want them to trust themselves. I think they’re just waiting for the game to start, then they get into it,” head coach Mick Byrne told Sky Sport after the match.

“They’ll learn, they’ll learn from that.

“Super Rugby has been Super Rugby for as long as I can think of and now it’s Super Rugby Pacific, and we saw today why it’s called Super Rugby Pacific.”

The contest was a sublime advertisement for Pacific Island rugby, and highlighted what the competition has been lacking in recent years.

Following the pre-match challenges from both teams, Moana raced out to an early lead.

Prop Levi Aumua scored after just two minutes, and his front-row teammate Chris Apoua crossed for one of his own shortly after.

But Drua fought their way back, and even managed to level the scores at 19-all late in the half, before Danny Toala regained the lead for Moana Pasifika just before the break.

The seesawing contest continued into the second half – it always appeared destined to come down to the wire.