Drua smash Reds to seal finals place as Thorn’s side sweat on Force losing to Super Rugby ladder leaders


The Queensland Reds’ Super Rugby finals hopes are hanging in the balance, after Brad Thorn’s side lost to the Drua 41-17 in Suva to leave them a nervous wait on Saturday night.

The result, which saw the Drua leapfrog the Reds into seventh spot, means Thorn’s side must rely on the Chiefs beating the Force in Perth to qualify for the finals.

Not helping their cause is the fact Chiefs coach Clayton McMillan made a dozen changes to his side, with the Waikato-based side wrapping up top spot on the Super Rugby standings last weekend with victory over the Brumbies.

Selestino Ravutaumada was one of the Drua’s best during his side’s important win over the Reds to make the Super Rugby finals on June 3, 2023, in Suva. (Photo by Pita Simpson/Getty Images)

Should Simon Cron’s Force prevail the repercussions will be immediate for the Reds.

While Thorn has already announced he will step away after six years at the helm, more fallout is likely after the Reds’ sorry fall from grace after taking out the Super Rugby AU title in 2021.

As for the Drua, it was an afternoon of celebration for Mick Byrne’s side who sealed their finals place with an outstanding victory under pressure in front of a packed crowd at HCF Bank Stadium.

After the score was locked at 17-all at half-time, the Reds crumbled under a wave of pressure as they failed to score a point in the second half.

In stark contrast, Byrne’s Drua scored three converted tries.

Joseva Tamani’s runaway try from yet another turnover from the Reds sealed the deal, as he allowed the already raucous crowd to celebrate wildly in the closing stages

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