Our Players Continue To Excel

Our players continue to excel in last weekend’s Top 14 competition in France. Coming towards the end of the season, the clubs are doing all they can to make the
03 May 2017 11:20
Our Players Continue To Excel
Gabiriele Lovobalavu (ab)

Our players continue to excel in last weekend’s Top 14 competition in France. Coming towards the end of the season, the clubs are doing all they can to make the playoffs.


Murimurivalu, Rawaca star in La Rochelle win

La Rochelle with Fijian internationals Kini Murimurivalu and centre Savenaca Rawaca returned to the victory trail when they beat Nemani Nadolo’s Montpellier 40-37 at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday.

The home side started slowly but took control of proceedings as the match progressed and led 40-16 at one stage before a late Montpellier fightback almost secured them a stunning victory. Both sides eventually scored four tries apiece although Montpellier thought they had won the game in its dying moments when Nadolo dived onto the ball behind La Rochelle’s try-line but his effort was disallowed by the TMO, who ruled that he was not in control of the ball.

The win consolidates La Rochelle’s position at the top of the table and the result is a significant one for Montpellier as it means that they failed in their bid to overtake second-placed Clermont in the standings.


Lovobalavu saves best for last

Veteran Fijian centre Gabrieli Lovobalavu put on a sterling performance to score two tries for Bayonne as they beat Grenoble 43-35 at the Stade Jean Dauger on Saturday. Despite being relegated Bayonne and Grenoble played an entertaining match.

Most of the action took place in the first period with the teams contributing seven tries in all. Five of those went to the hosts as Lovobalavu, who was also yellow carded, and Martin Laveau both touched down twice, while Kade Poki also went over.

Although the visitors crossed the whitewash through Fabien Alexandre and Armand Batlle before the interval, Toma’Akino Taufa’s second half effort completed the win. At that point, the home side had the bonus-point, but it was rather symptomatic of their season that they should let their guard down and allow Alexandre Dardet and young Fijian winger Edward Sawailau to score and take that away.


Raka try lifts Clermont

Enterprising Fiji winger Alivereti Raka scored a try for Clermont Auvergne as they moved above Montpellier into second place in the table after the injury-stricken outfit impressively overcame in-form Lyon 23-20.

Awaiting the outcome of La Rochelle’s match Clermont have given themselves an excellent chance of claiming a home semi-final. Despite the ultimately close scoreline, the visitors controlled much of the contest and deservedly led at the interval thanks to Raka’s try and the accurate kicking of Ludovic Radosavljevic.

Lyon had won four of their previous five games but their discipline let them down with burly Nadroga winger Napolioni Nalaga and Albertus Buckle both seeing yellow cards.


Votu shines in Pau fightback

Former Lautoka winger Watisoni Votu ran in two tries as Pau beat Brive 32-27 at the Stade du Hameau yesterday. Pau came from 10 points down to boost their play-off prospects by running away with the win.

Benjamin Petre and Thomas Laranjeira both touched down while sharp-shooter Gaetan Germain was on target three times off the tee as the visitors took a 17-7 advantage.

Although Votu crossed the whitewash, the hosts were struggling for continuity but they gradually eased themselves into the contest via Tom Taylor and Thibault Daubagna penalties. Votu and Benjamin Lapeyre then traded efforts at the start of the second period before a two-try burst, which included one from replacement hooker Quentin Lespiaucq, gave Pau an eight-point cushion. Also playing well for Pau was centre Jale Vatubua while Benito Masilevu toiled hard for Brive.


Derby joy for Nayaclevu’s Stade Francais  

Stade Français with Flying Fijian winger Waisea Nayacalevu claimed the bragging rights from Sunday’s Parisian derby with a deserved 27-23 win over Racing 92 at Stade Jean-Bouin.

In a thrilling and sometimes tumultuous encounter, both sides played most of the match with 14 men after Pascal Papé and Wenceslas Lauret received red cards for throwing punches in a fight shortly before half-time. Racing fielded Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa and winger Joe Rokocoko.

Stade outscored their neighbours by three tries to two and Jules Plisson contributed 12 points via three conversions and two penalties. The result means Stade move above Racing into sixth place on the table. Both sides are level on 58 points after 25 matches but Stade have a better points difference.

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