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Analysis: Our Players Continue To Impress Their Clubs

It has been a busy weekend for our rugby players playing abroad. The start of the Gallagher Premiership in London, the third week of the Top 14 competition in France
20 Sep 2021 14:24
Analysis: Our Players Continue To Impress Their Clubs
Taranaki winger Kini Naholo after their 32-26 win over Wellington on September 18, 2021. Photo: Stuff

It has been a busy weekend for our rugby players playing abroad.

The start of the Gallagher Premiership in London, the third week of the Top 14 competition in France and the resumption of the New Zealand National Provincial Championship (NPC).

Although, our top players like Semi Radradra, Sam Matavesi, Josua Tuisova and Co, did not play but the others who took the field did not disappoint.

But at home all are waiting anxiously as the Fiji Drua franchise are going to announce their head coach and the first batch of contracted players this week.

“They’ll be players who excite and delight rugby fans all over the world,” Drua interim chief executive officer Brian Thorburn told SUNsports this weekend.

But as of now let’s turn our attention on how our overseas-based players had fared in their club games.

TOP 14

Flying Fijians flanker Peceli Yato made scored a try to mark his return to the competition. Yato, prop Peni Ravai and Alivereti Raka helped Clermont beat last year’s finalists La Rochelle 23-22.

Like Yato, playing his first game of the season for La Rochelle was Flying Fijians skipper, Levani Botia, who was at No.12 while Eneriko Buliruarua came in as a sub.

Johnny Dyer starred at lock for newly promoted Biarritz as they upset Racing 92, 28-19. The Macuata native played alongside veteran Fijian-born Wallabie centre, Tevita Kuridrani, with Henry Speight on the bench.

For Racing 92, Ben Volavola started at first five eight with Virimi Vakatawa coming in as an impact player.

Montpellier rested Josua Vici and put Masivesi Dakuwaqa on the bench as they lost 17-15 to Toulouse.

The combination of Vilimoni Botitu and Filipo Nakosi was what Castres banked on as they settled for a 23-23 draw against Bordeaux.

Olympian, Aminiasi Tuimaba, scored a try for Pau in the 20th minute but it was not enough as Brive romped to 30-13 win.

Brive had lanky Tevita Ratuva starting at lock with Seta Bituniyata on the wing while Kitione Kamikamica came in as a sub. Also, playing with Tuimaba, was second five-eight Jale Vatubua.

Centre Asaeli Duguivalu played for Perpignan as they were thrashed 47-3 by Lyon.

Results: Lyon 47-3 Perpignan, Brive 30- 13 Pau, Biarritz 28-19 Racing 92, Castres 23-23 Bordeaux, Montepellier 15-17 Toulouse, Clermont 23-22 La Rochelle.

GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP

Burly Flying Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo made strong runs to set up two tries for Leicester Tigers as they beat Exeter Chiefs 34-19.

Veteran lock forward Api Ratuniyarawa came in as a sub for Northampton Saints as they beat Gloucester 34-20.

Albert Tuisue scored a try for London Irish as they went down 36-24 to Worcester.

Semesa Rokoduguni’s Bath were pipped 20-19 by Sale Sharks while Bristol Bears with Nathan Hughes at No.8 were beaten 26-9 by Saracens.

Results: Bristol 9-26 Saracens, Leicester 34-19 Exeter, Worcester 36-24 London Irish, Northampton 34-20 Gloucester, Sale Sharks 20-19 Bath

NEW ZEALAND NPC

Winger Timoci Tavatavanawai scored a try for Tasman Mako as they walloped Northland 48-29 on Saturday.

Tavatavanawai was the unknown player that Crusaders coach Scott Roberston had drafted into the training squad early this year.

Northland did not give up as they scored tries through 145kg prop Kaliopasi Uluilakepa and flanker Raikabula Momoedonu. Veteran Crusaders and Blues winger Jone Macilai also played for Northland.

Fijian-born All Blacks winger, Waisake Naholo, played for Canterbury and scored a try as they edged Waikato 20-19.

Taranaki with Fijian flanker Pita Gus Sowakula, winger Kini Naholo along with Jacob Ratumaitavuki- Kneepkens and Vereniki Tikoisolomone on their Match23 squad that outplayed Wellington 32-26.

Results: Waikato 19-20 Canterbury, Taranaki 32-26 Wellington, Northland 29-48 Tasman Mako.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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