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Top Fijian In Both Codes

Semi Radradra continues to mesmerise the rugby world with another sublime performance for the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate yesterday.
20 Sep 2020 09:44
Top Fijian In Both Codes
Bristol Bears winger Semi Radradra runs away from the Dragons defence during the European Challenge Cup at Ashton Gate in Bristol, London on September 19, 2020. Photo: Bristol Live

Semi Radradra continues to mesmerise the rugby world with another sublime performance for the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate yesterday.

Earlier in the week, the Somosomo, Taveuni, native was named by Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) as the best Fijian winger in the modern era during his stint with the Parramatta Eels (2013-2017).

He beat fellow high profile Fijians like Jarryd Hayne, Lote Tuqiri, Noa Nadruku and Akuila Uate.

He made a rousing impact since he joined the Bears for the Gallagher Premiership and yesterday. He continued to liftoff as the Pat Lam-coached side stormed into the last four of the European Challenge Cup with a devastating seven-try 56-17 demolition of the Dragons.

Despite falling 10-0 behind, Lam’s men turned the tide in dazzling fashion, twice scoring three tries in six minutes to set up a home semi-final against Radradra’s former club Bordeaux or Viliame Mata’s Edinburgh.

Set up by Radradra, Ben Earl grabbed a quickfire double after Fijian No.8 Nathan Hughes had got the ball rolling– and it was more of the same after the interval.

Lam had challenged the players to score first in the second half and Radradra responded in the 43rd minute.

Best In Modern Era

The Bristol Bears star has topped a poll of NRL fans as their favourite ever Fijian winger.

After 19,000 votes were counted in NRL. corn’s poll, former Parramatta Eels star Radradra came out on top.

In his time playing top-end rugby league in Australia, Radradra scored 82 tries in 94 matches-a deadly try-scoring record .

Jarryd Hayne- another former Parramatta star who would also have a run with the Fiji sevens team (as he tried to make the Olympic squad back in 2016) – finished second in the poll. He garnered 26 % of the vote.

In keeping with the Simply The Best theme of previous Top 10, this list includes Fijian wingers who have strutted their stuff between 1990 and 2020 like Waqa Blake, Marika Koroibete, Nadruku, Hayne, Maika Sivo, Tuqiri , Uate and Suliasi Vunivalu.

Autumn Nations Cup

Radradra is a top contender when Flying Fijians coach Vern Cotter names his squad for the Autumn Nations Cup next week.

It will be interesting where he will slot Radradra since he plays equally well at centre or wing.

Group B (France, Scotland, Italy and Fiji) is hard to predict, but will see some exciting fixtures .

Fiji provided fans with one of the most memorable matches in the group stage of Rugby World Cup 2019 against Wales, a close match which saw Fiji lose 29-17.

The first-round match between Fiji and France will be a chance for the French side to rectify their November 2018 defeat to Fiji , who won the match 21-17. Scotland will be an exciting team to follow in this group.

Their final round against Fiji , who they beat 54-17 in 2018, could well be one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament.

Italy meanwhile , having lost 17-0 to Scotland and 35-22 to France in this year ‘s Six Nations, will be determined to return the favour against both sides. Their second round fixture against Fiji will certainly be one to watch .

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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