Ravai’s Try Upsets Top 14 Champs

  Vodafone Flying Fijians prop Peni Ravai scored a try in his debut for Bordeaux-Begles as they upset Top 14 champions Clermont at Jacques Chaban-Delmas yesterday. Joining Ravai at Bordeaux
28 Aug 2017 12:00
Ravai’s Try Upsets Top 14 Champs
Peni Ravai Photo: Zimbio


Vodafone Flying Fijians prop Peni Ravai scored a try in his debut for Bordeaux-Begles as they upset Top 14 champions Clermont at Jacques Chaban-Delmas yesterday.

Joining Ravai at Bordeaux is former Suva winger Apisai Naqalevu who kept fast Clermont winger Alifereti Raka at bay.

Clermont started their title defence with a defeat after Bordeaux-Bègles produced an outstanding second half display to secure a 32-25 triumph.

UBB, who went into the game having lost a number of key players in the summer, got off to an excellent start, going 5-0 ahead through Fa’asiu Fuatai. However, Clermont are champions for a reason and two tries in as many minutes by fiery Fijian flanker Peceli Yato and Remy Grosso took them into the lead.

Simon Hickey did reduce the arrears from the tee but Patricio Fernandez responded with two of his own as Clermont moved 18-8 in front.

Bordeaux continued to press, though, and the pressure resulted in Benjamin Kayser receiving a yellow card. While the Auvergne hooker was off the field, Hickey kicked three penalties as the hosts brought themselves back into the contest.

Franck Azema’s men were struggling for continuity and the home side duly pounced, scoring two further tries from Ravai and Jean-Baptiste Dubie to secure the win.

The visitors did have the final word via Michael Simutoga, which garnered a losing bonus-point, but the home side deservedly went away with the victory.


Botia’s La Rochelle continues dream run

Fijian strongman Levani Botia played at blindside flanker for La Rochelle as they dumped Brive 19-10 at the Stade Amedee- Domenech yesterday.

La Rochelle and Arthur Retiere picked up from where they left off last season by producing an impressive display.

Burly lock forward Jone Qovu came in as a late replacement and copped a yellow card while Sisa Koyamaibole, Seremaia Burotu and Dominiko Waqaniburotu took the field for Brive.

Retiere opened La Rochelle’s account for the season early on by scampering over, but Samuel Marques’ penalty kept the hosts in contention at the break. Despite only being four points in arrears, Nicolas Godignon’s team were on the back foot at the beginning of the second period and Retiere touched down once more.

Although Karlen Asieshvili managed to get a try back for Brive, Alexi Bales sealed an excellent win for La Rochelle.


Qera’s Agen walloped

Vodafone Flying Fijians skipper Akapusi Qera made his debut for Agen as they went down 48-19 to Montpellier at the Altrad Stadium yesterday.

Montpellier gave Agen a stark reminder of the difficulties they will face this season in the Top 14 competition. At the same time, Vern Cotter’s men displayed their own title credentials, scoring seven tries in a confident display.

It was effectively game over by half-time with big Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo, Joe Tomane and Benjamin Fall going over, while Benoit Paillaugue added a conversion and a penalty before Ruan Pienaar entered the fray to show his qualities.

Also playing alongside Qera is winger Vilikesa Salawa


Nakarawa, Vulivuli in Racing win

Lock Leone Nakarawa and Albert Vulivuli came in as replacements as Racing 92 produced a superb late fight-back to overturn a 21-13 second half deficit and beat Castres 25-21.

Christophe Urios’ men controlled much of the encounter and deserved the 18-3 lead given to them by two quick-fire Armand Batlle tries.

The hosts, having been so lacklustre in the opening period, needed a response and Anthony Tuitavake provided it, reducing the arrears to eight points at the break. Dan Carter and Benjamin Urdapilleta traded penalties in the second half before a late surge saw Racing take the spoils.

Firstly, Juan Imhoff crossed the whitewash and then Louis Dupichot scored – after Anthony Jelonch had been sin-binned – to complete the comeback.


Nayacalevu strikes back

After all the controversy Fijian centre Waisea Nayacalevu scored a try for Stade Francaise as they lost their T14 opener 16-25 to Lyou at Stade Jean Bouin in Paris yesterday.

Some at Stade were probably just content to be there after the off-field turmoil of last season, but they were excellent in the opening exchanges of this encounter and moved into a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.

Nayacalevu touched down and Morne Steyn added eight points from the boot before the visitors finally mounted a response. They scored 17 unanswered points via Thibaut Regard and Alexis Palisson, with Lionel Beauxis converting both and also adding a penalty. Steyn did reduce the arrears but Albertus Buckle’s try and Frederic Michalak’s late three-pointer gave Lyon the victory.


Edited by Grace Narayan



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