The Hurricanes have overcome a poor second half in which they incurred three yellow cards to beat Fijian Drua 38-15 in Super Rugby Pacific, stretching their winning start to the season to eight matches and ending the Drua's unbeaten record at home.

The first-placed Hurricanes were impressive in the opening 40 minutes, scoring four tries to lead 28-7 at halftime on Friday.

But their game started to fall apart in the second half and they spent almost 10 minutes with 13 men when DuPlessis Kirifi and Isaia Walker-Leawere were sin-binned in the 64th and 65th minutes. Replacement prop Caleb Delany also received a yellow card two minutes before fulltime.

The Drua reduced the Hurricanes' lead with a try to halfback Kitione Salawa early in the second half. But they were only able to score three points — a penalty to Kemu Valetini — when the Hurricanes were two men down.

Returned to full strength, the Hurricanes extended their lead with a penalty to Aidan Morgan. They finished with a try to Xavier Numia after the fulltime siren and while down to 14 men.

"It was a good test of our character," Hurricanes captain Brad Shields said.

"We talked about it during the week, that it was going to be about the effort early. We didn't think we were going to be down to 13. But it did show good character, the way we held it together on the line and connected on defence."

The visitors opened the scoring with a try after seven minutes to centre Billy Proctor from a speculative in-field Salesi Rayasi kick.

The Drua scored minutes later through young five-eighth Isikeli Rabitu to draw level. But the Hurricanes opened a 21-point lead by halftime with tries to back-rower Devon Flanders, centre Jordie Barrett and hooker James O'Reilly.

Salawa scored from a lineout drive in the 46th minute as the Drua began to get on top, bringing a crowd of 15,000 at the National Stadium to life. The Hurricanes grimly held on, even when outnumbered and gradually the Drua's ascendancy faded.

The Drua have won three home matches this season in Lautoka but this was their first in Suva and their first home defeat of the year.

They return to Lautoka next week for a crucial match against Moana Pasifika.


Hurricanes 38 (TRIES: Proctor, Flanders, Barrett, O'Reilly, Numia; CONS: Barrett, Morgan 4; PENS: Barrett) def Drua 15 (TRIES: Rabitu, Salawa; CONS: Valetini; PENS: Valetini)

DRUA (1-15): Haereiti Hetet, Tevita Ikanivere (c), Mesake Doge, Isoa Nasilasila, Leone Rotuisolia, Vilive Miramira, Kitione Salawa, Elia Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Isikeli Rabitu, Epeli Momo, Kemu Valetini, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Droasese

RESERVES: Zuriel Togiatama, Livai Natave, Samu Tawake, Mesake Vocevoce, Meli Derenalagi, Peni Matawalu, Michael Naitokani, Junior Ratuva

HURRICANES (1-15): Tevita Mafileo, James O'Reilly, Pasilio Tosi, Ben Grant, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Brad Shields (c), Du'Plessis Kirifi, Devan Flanders, TJ Perenara, Aidan Morgan, Salesi Rayasi, Jordie Barrett, Billy Proctor, Kino Naholo. Josh Moorby

RESERVES: Asafo Aumua, Xavier Numia, Siale Lauaki, Caleb Delany, Peter Lakai, Richard Judd, Ruben Love, Bailyn Sullivan

Referee: Paul Williams

Assistant Referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter