Rugby League

Valemei A Beaut: Stuart

The 21-year-old Naividamu, Macuata native made his NRL debut for Canberra Raiders in their 24-20 upset win over defending champions Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday night.
19 Jul 2020 09:41
Valemei A Beaut: Stuart
Fijian-born Canberra Raiders winger Semi Valemei (left) congratulates prop Josh Papalii after scoring a try in the 24-20 win over defendoing NRL champions Roosters in Sydney on July 16, 2020 . Photo: Raiders

Give Semi Valemei time and there’ll be another Fijian winger hitting the headlines at this year’s National Rugby League (NRL) competition.

The 21-year-old Naividamu, Macuata native made his NRL debut for Canberra Raiders in their 24-20 upset win over defending champions Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday night.

“He’s still young,” former Vodafone Fijian Bati coach Joe Rabele said yesterday.

“Wait for Semi to settle down in the competition and we’ll have another Maika Sivo in the NRL.

“For Semi to play in the NRL is indeed a big achievement. He has a lot of talent and again give him time and he’ll show what his worth.”

Valemei played at the start of the second half after Michael Oldfield taken off with hamstring tightness.

Raiders head coach Ricky Stuart was excited with Valemei’s performance.

“He did a great job,” Stuart who played alongside Noa Nadruku when the Raiders won the NRL title in the early nineties.

The other Fijian Bati to play for the Raiders is utility back Sisa Waqa.

“Semi got the opportunity at half time through Michael Oldfield’s tight hammy.

“I was really pleased for Semi and I’m sure a lot of people in Fiji would have been watching the game.

“Those sort of moments are very nice. He’s a beaut young man.”

Valemei had to mark the much experienced Brett Morris, who had scored two tries in the first half.

He was able to contain the rampant Morris despite a few anxious moments.

Edited by Simione Haravanua

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