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Round 5: Fijians In The National Rugby League

Round 5: Fijians In The National Rugby League
Eto Nabuli for Dragons
April 09
07:51 2015

MILLARD – Daryl Millard, in his second NRL game of the season showed an improved performance with a big workload for an outside back in Rabbitohs late 18-17 win over the Bulldogs. Millard ran the ball 14 times for 91 metres, one tackle break and made an impressive 28 tackles at centre.

WILIAME – Brayden Wiliame is also improving with every NRL game he plays this season, while other Sea Eagles players are out injured. The young Manly centre made 127 metres from 11 runs, two tackle breaks and nine tackles.

SUPERB SISA – Sisa Waqa returned from injury and it looks like Raiders Coach Ricky Stuart has taken our earlier blog tip– Sisa to centre paid dividends for Canberra Raiders in their 29 to 16 win at the normally unbreakable Brookvale Oval fortress. Sisa Waqa recorded 84 metres from 10 runs (27 touches overall), three tackle breaks, one try assist, one try (11 minute), one line break, 15 tackles and two offloads.

ETO – Eto Nabuli (Dragons) had limited attacking opportunities that came his way on the wing against Newcastle Knights, but despite this scored one of only two tries in the game – a solid try in the corner at 16 minutes. Eto had 61 metres from eight runs, one tackle break and one line break in Dragons 13 nil victory.

UNSTOPPABLE UATE – Despite not scoring Akuila Uate had a fantastic performance for Knights. He had 13 runs (from 15 touches), gaining 172 metres and making four tackle breaks – he even went close to scoring his 100th try, but heavy rain perhaps hampered his grip and running style!

IMPACT 1 – One Sims brother returns as the other is suspended (Korbin). Tariq Sims in his first NRL game of the season contributed a huge workload for the Knights. The powerful second rower in his debut for the Knights made 177 metres (16 hit-ups) and 41 tackles! Let’s hope the Bati will be able to call upon his efforts this year!

IMPACT 2 – Kane Evans again displayed a powerful and big impact off the bench for the Roosters. The young Prop made 87 metres from 7 hit-ups, two tackle breaks, one offload and a phenomenal 34 tackles in only 36 minutes! The Roosters had a 12–20 loss to Cronulla Sharks at home.

NAIQAMA MAYHEM – Kevin Naiqama had easily his best game of the season so far, recording 166 metres from 18 runs, four tackle-breaks and one line-break on the wing, while scoring at the 40th minute in Tigers 22-6 away win against Parramatta Eels.

UNSTOPPABLE 2 – Marika Mayhem was on display in Melbourne on Monday night with lightning fast winger Koroibete scoring two tries for Storm in their 30 to 14 victory over the NZ Warriors. Koroibete was phenomenal with 214 metres ran from only 9 runs with 8 tackle breaks (3 line-breaks) and he went close to scoring four tries! One he made 70 metres from before being stopped close to the line and another from a classic Cronk chip kick, only just glanced Koroibete’s finger tips.

WAQA BLAKE DEBUTS – already rated as a future NRL star before he even made his debut, Fijian-born Waqa was impressive in his debut at centre, despite his late inclusion and a lacklustre performance from Panthers in their 10 to 30 home loss to the NQ Cowboys. Waqa made a line-break from his first touch of the ball with a powerful 30 metre run, but overall contributing 108 metres from 11 runs, 15 tackles and two tackle breaks.

IMPACT 3 – Regan Campbell-Gillard has only played five NRL matches and already he is playing like an experienced campaigner. RCG with limited minutes from the bench is providing a solid impact each week as a rookie Prop – this week he contributed 34 tackles in 47 minutes and 150 metres from 15 hit-ups (one tackle-break). It won’t be too long into his career before the rising star is promoted into the starting line-up.

KOROISAU – Api Koroisau was originally named as 18th man, but received a surprise late call up into the starting side at five-eighth (normally a hooker). The Panthers struggled for possession, but Api contributed with a tackle-break, 24 tackles, 31 touches of the ball and 33 metres from 4 runs.

Fijians of the Week

NRL Second Tier Competitions

Intrust Super Cup

Nemani Valekapa again had a strong performance for Ipswich Jets at centre scoring a strong try on the left edge, fending off Cowboys NRL squad members from Northern Pride (Cairns) to score, while Nemani also had a try assist after another powerful run, before passing inside to Marmin Barba. He now has five tries from five ISC rounds.

Highlights: Rd5 Jets V Pride www.qrl.com.au/news/2015/04/07/highlights_rd5_jets_.html

VB NSW Cup

It is hard to review with limited vision, but Eloni Vunakece has been impressing with Wyong Roos (Central Coast NSW side affiliated with Sydney Roosters this year) and he again had a strong performance in Wyong’s 42-6 thumping over NZ Warriors, as mentioned in the Wyong Roos match report: “The home team bench maintained the standards set by Williams, and cohorts Eloni Vunakece and Samisoni Langi, and refused to yield ground or opportunity despite some desperate football from the visitors.”

Highlights: http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2015/04/07/highlights_roos_v_wa.html

Honourable Mention:

Suliasi Vunivalu – the Melbourne Storm NRL Squad member is relatively unknown still, but the talented winger is quickly climbing the ranks in Australia – last year he was in Storms U20s, then promoted to their NRL full time training squad for 2015 and now this season at still only 19 years of age he was promoted from Storm U20s to one of their Intrust Super Cup affiliate clubs in Queensland – the Sunshine Coast Falcons. He scored two tries for them at the weekend!

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