Rugby | SPORTS

Fijians Shine In France

The Fijian combination in the Castres Match 23 squad helped them secure a 26-16 win over Pau on Sunday.
07 Jun 2022 11:32
Fijians Shine In France
Centre Sireli Maqala on the move for Bayonne. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist will make his Top 14 debut next season.

The Fijian combination in the Castres Match 23 squad helped them secure a 26-16 win over Pau on Sunday.

Now Castres and Montpellier have qualified directly for the Top 14 semi-finals on Sunday with de­fending champions Toulouse and newly-crowned European cham­pions La Rochelle going into the play-offs.

Castres had Vilimoni Botitu at second five eight with Filipo Nako­si on the wing. Then in came their subs of burly centre Adrea Cocagi and Josua Raisuqe at flanker.

Pau who had Lekima Tagitagiva­lu at lock and veteran Jale Vatubua at second five eight were simply overpowered.

Flying Fijians captain, Levani Bo­tia starred for La Rochelle as they edged Lyon 29-26.

Lyon’s try was scored by winger Josua Tuisova in the 20th minute.

Toulouse who walloped Biartiz 80-7 and La Rochelle set up a re­venge clash of last season’s final with a place in the semi-finals in Nice on June 17-18 at stake just like third placed Bordeaux-Bègles and Racing 92 in sixth.

Ben Volavola came as a sub for Racing 92 in their 21-16 win over Toulon, whose try was scored by Jiuta Wainiqolo.

Toulouse had to fight to reach the final stages for the 12th consecu­tive time since the 2009-2010 sea­son. Toulon finish eighth to miss out on the play-offs.

Fullback turned centre Seta Tuicuvu scored a try for Brive in their 33-17 win over Stade Fran­cais.

Brive also had Setareki Bituni­yata on the wing while lanky lock Tevita Ratuva and Kitione Kami­kamica came in as replacements. Stade Francais had Waisea Naya­calevu and Sefanaia Naivalu start­ing from the bench.

Clermont, seventh, and Lyon, winner of the European Challenge this season, will compete with the six teams qualified for the final phase in the next edition of the Champions Cup, where South Afri­can franchises will feature for the first time.

Meanwhile Perpignan, in 13th, will play for their Top 14 survival against Pro D2 finalist Mont-de-Marsan.

Earlier, Bayonne with their star Fijian centre Sireli Maqala ce­mented their return to the Top 14 a year after their painful relegation following a dominant 49-20 win at Mont-de-Marsan.

Bayonne’s six tries crushed their rivals who were hit by the sin bin­ning of South African fly-half Wil­lie Du Plessis after 54 minutes


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