SPORTS

Taqele Rescues Saints

The 27-year-old winger scored the winning try for 13-man Northampton Saints against the Wasps yesterday in a last-ditch 35-31 win at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
07 Jan 2020 14:40
Taqele Rescues Saints
Taqele Naiyaravoro scores the winning try for Northampton Saints against the Wasps at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, England on January 6, 2020. Photo: Northampton Saints

Taqele Naiyaravoro has once again showed what he can bring to the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians side.

The 27-year-old winger scored the winning try for 13-man Northampton Saints against the Wasps yesterday in a last-ditch 35-31 win at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The try was vintage Naiyaravoro.

The 20 stone former Wallaby came on with 17 minutes remaining with only one thing on his mind – scoring the winning try.

The Yasawa native ploughed over with two minutes remaining, bursting through a group of Wasps defenders from a sustained period of attacking play.

Before the try, it looked for all money that the home side would snatch a famous victory to help them in the relegation scrap.

But Naiyaravoro would have none of it, scoring brilliantly to earn high praise from Northampton’s director of rugby, Chris Boyd.

The improbable win helped Northampton retain second-place in the Gallagher Premiership, one point behind leaders Exeter after eight matches.

Boyd said: “He (Naiyaravoro) is difficult to stop at the best of times let alone when he has got a head of steam and he is pretty determined and the line is only four metres away.”

The performance was yet another reminder of what Naiyaravoro is all about, combining pace and power to terrorise opponents.

Last May, the winger declared his interest to play for Gareth Baber’s 7s side en route to representing the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians at the 2023 World Cup.

He said: “It’s about representing my family: my brothers, my sisters; my mum and dad are all still in Fiji.

“It’s like returning to my roots and setting examples, standards for my fellow players back in the village.”

Naiyaravoro has served the minimum three-year stand down period after playing for the Wallabies on two occasions, making him eligible for the switch.

Baber has said that he was open to bringing in overseas-based players, particularly for the 2020 Olympic Games, if they fit his style.

Semi Radradra and Semi Kunatani seem to be the Welshman’s favoured choice.

But it will be hard to overlook Naiyaravoro if he continues playing this way.

Other results:

Albert Tuisue scored for London Irish Exiles in a 28-35 defeat to Premiership leaders Exeter Chief.

Tuisue started alongside fullback Alivereti Veitokani, with the duo unable to thwart an Exeter team growing from strength to strength every week.

The Exiles secured promotion to the Premiership last season but already find themselves facing relegation in 10th place on the standings.

Edited by Simione Haravanua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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