SPORTS

Kunatani’s Quins Must Win At Stoop

"And Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee will keep a close tab on the players monitoring their performance this weekend."
04 May 2019 15:37
Kunatani’s Quins Must Win At Stoop
Harelquins forward Semi Kunatani.

Members of our Fiji Airways Flying Fijians squad will continue to play key roles as the Gallagher Premiership Rugby enters the knockout end of the competition.

And Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee will keep a close tab on the players monitoring their performance this weekend.

Semi Kunatani is likely to come off the bench in a ding dong at the Stoop where his Harlequins must beat Campese Ma’afu’s Leicester Tigers in round 21 today.

Harlequins sit 5th on 51 points with two rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby action remaining,

They are tied Api Ratuniyarawa’s and Tagele Naiyaravoro’s Northampton Saints who are 4th since they have a better points difference.

A win today at the Stoop could secure the Quins a place in the semifinals for the first time since 2014 provided the Saints lose at home at Franklin Gardens to Worcester Warriors tomorrow who are 10th on 41 points.,

Ma’afa Tigers on 11th spot on 39 pts know, on the other hand, that two points will be enough for them to secure another season in the top flight, with a nine-point buffer over bottom-of-the-table Vereniki Goneva;s Newcastle Falcons at the moment.

On 12th spot with 30pts, the Falcons are almost likely to be relegated with Greene King IPA Championship in 2020 with London Irish Exiles’ Albert Tuisue, Alivereti Veitokani, Manasa Saulo and Napolioni Nalaga promoted to Premiership status. They have two games left against the Gloucester at Kingsholm tomorrow and Bristol Bears on May 18.

Goneva and his fellow Flying Fijians at Kingston Park are like to move base most likely France in 2020.

Goneva, Tevita Cavubati and Nemani Nagusa and Josh Matavesi, who are all in contention for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, must perform to expectations four-yearly event to attract top clubs from Europe.

Matavesi stays a Falcon

Joel Matavesi has agreed a new one-year contract with Newcastle Falcons.

The 22-year-old centre has helped Newcastle Falcons’ A-Team to win the Premiership Rugby Shield’s Northern Conference this season, director of rugby Dean Richards saying: “Joel is a talented young player who shows a lot of promise.

“He is a good ball-player with a lot of attacking ability, and we will continue to look to bring the best out of him during his time with us.”

Cornishman Matavesi said: “I’m loving my time up here so far. I’ve come on loads, I want to continue to do so and this is the right environment for me to keep on learning.”

Joel is the brother of Flying Fijians squad members Josh and Sam Matavesi, who play for the Cornish Pirates.

Global Rapid Rugby Extra

The inaugural Global Rapid Rugby competition will provide extra preparations for our local players for the RWC.

Players playing in the Skipper Cup Premiership will feature for the Swire Shipping Fijian Latui will open their Global Rapid Rugby campaign at home against Kagifa Samoa on May 18 at 3.10 pm at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

Sixteen players from Suva, 10 from Namosi and five each from Nadroga and Naitasiri make up the 36 member Fijian Latui squad for the tournament.

The team marched into camp on Wednesday before breaking for the Skipper Cup today.

The Laitui then faces Western Force on May 25 at Churchill Park before flying away for their two away match.

The Senirusi-Seruvakula-coached side will then meet Kagifa Samoa in New Zealand before playing Western Force at HBF Park in Australia.

Global Rapid rugby announce that in Asia and the Pacific, the seven games will be broadcast live through Fox Sports Asia and Star Sports and its multitude of local channels that include coverage into China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa.

Meanwhile, Fiji TV will broadcast live games featuring Fijian Latui.

Latui squad:

Prop (loose): Eroni Mawi, Joeli Veitayaki, Immanuel Naciva, Mateo Qlisese; Hooker- Mesulame Dolokoto, Vufakoto Veremalu, Jale Sassen; Prop (tight) Luke Tagi, Apisai Vatubuli, Alivereti Rabukawaqa, Peni Tupou; Lock; Tuifagalele Soro, Vatiliai Matakaca, Peni Naulago, Nacani Nawaqatabu; Flankers:Mosese Voka, Peni Raidre, Vasikali Mudu, Filimone Seru; No.8 Jonny Dyer, Timoci Davui; No, 9 Frank Lomani, Serupepeli Vularika; No,10 Jone Manu, Fabiiano Navabale, Netava Korosau; No.12 Avete Daveta, Apisalomo Vota; No. 13 John Stewart, Ifereimi Tovilevu; Wing: A Tabulawaki, Lepani Raiyala, Tira Welagi; No.15 Enele Malele, A Waqatabu, M Nakarawa

-Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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