Selections Week 39

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All match updates and selections in week 39 of 2022.

Internationals | Premiership | United Rugby | Championship | Top 14 | NRL | Betfred Championship | Bunnings NPC | Tryscorers

Internationals Oct 01

Japan – Sanaila Waqa 5, Michael Leitch 8 | Australia A – Langi Gleeson 8, Filipo Daugunu 11, Suliasi Vunivalu 14, Mark Nawaqanitawase 23

Vunivalu gets his first start in a test jersey albeit Australia A but it’s good to see him finally get a run after his 3 minute cameo against England for the Wallabies. Match will be played 10pm FJT Saturday.

Vunivalu scored a try and looked dangerous with every touch. Sanaila Waqa left the field after 5 minutes with what looks like a dislocated shoulder.

Nawaqanitawase made a great impact scoring two tries that proved the difference. Langi Gleeson very good for Australia while Michael Leitch very good for Japan. Aus A 34-22 Japan

Premiership Round 4 Sep 30-Oct 02

Newcastle – George Wacokecoke 23 vs Bristol

The Falcons won their first match of the season while the Bears dropped their first match after going 3-0 in their first 3 weeks. Falcons 30-15.

London Irish – Api Ratuniyarawa 4 | Bath – Joe Cokanasiga 14

Api Ratuniyarawa at 36 still starting in a Top Tier competition is impressive.

Cokanasiga scored his second try of the season when he powered over in the second half. London Irish won 47-38 after leading 35-5 at the break. Ratuniyarawa was yellow carded in the 73rd minute.

Saracens – Eroni Mawi 17 | Leicester – Kini Murimurivalu 11, Phil Cokanasiga 13

A replay of last seasons finalists. Phil Cokanasiga get’s his first start this season as does Murimurivalu. Nemani Nadolo rested.

Northampton – Sam Matavesi 2 @ Harlequins

Both sides are 1 from 3 to begin their seasons.

Championship Round 4 Sep 30-Oct 01

Bedford Blues – Tui Uru 8 vs Caldy

Uru’s second game this season. Bedford aiming for 3 wins from 4 starts.

Coventry – Senitiki Nayalo 8 vs Ealing

Former London Irish and Edinburgh backrower Nayalo has started all 3 games this being his 4th. Coventry are 2-1 to start the season.

URC Round 3 Oct 01-02

No Fijians selected this week. Viliame Mata rested for Edinburgh, Lee Roy Atalifo & Mesu Kunavula yet to play over first fortnight. Onisi Ratave & Iliesa Ratuva both rested after playing last week.

NPC Round 9 Sep 30-Oct 02

Hawkes Bay – Isaia Walker-Leawere 4 | Tasman – Levi Aumua 13, Sevu Reece 23

A must win game for Tasman who are in danger of dropping out of the finals race with Northland right on their heels. Sevu Reece returns from test duty. Timoci Tavatavanawai, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta rested.

Hawkes Bay won the game 25-17. If Northland defeat Manawatu they will play finals with Tasman dropping out.

Auckland – Alex Hodgman 1, Soane Vikena 2, Salesi Rayasi 11 Taranaki – Pita Gus Sowakula 6, Kini Naholo 11, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens 15

Auckland’s place in the finals is confirmed after Tasman lost on Friday night. Taranaki will miss out on finals. A surprise considering they went through last season undefeated. Sowakula makes his return. Vereiniki Tikoisolomone rested. Naholo has scored 4 tries in his last 3 games.

Kini Naholo scored a try in this match. His 6th for the season. Taranaki led 17-3 at halftime only to lose 38-24. Salesi Rayasi left the field with a knee injury.

Counties – Zuriel Togiatama 2, Peniasi Malimali 11 vs Wellington

Counties will look to finish on a high whilst Wellington will look to head into the finals with momentum. Viliame Rarasea rested. Malimali’s form warrants a Super Rugby contract with a NZRU franchise. He made it into our Top 10 after last weekend.

Counties suffered a heavy defeat 64-31. Peniasi Malimali scored his 5th for the season and was denied another try due to a double movement.

Otago – Jona Nareki 11 | Canterbury – Manasa Mataele 14, Chay Fihaki 15

Nareki returns from injury. Hasn’t played since round 2 but was their best player when he was on the field. They can still qualify for finals but unlikely given their opponents and the +49 point difference they would need to overcome. Canterbury will finish first regardless of the result. It will take a very good team to knock them out this season.

Nareki with some classy touches in his return played a big part in two of Otago’s tries. Mataele with a brilliant solo run beating several defenders and finishing off the movement with a try. Also made a match high 126 metres. Canterbury 27-21 Otago.

Northland – Jone Macilai-Tori 14 | Manawatu – Ropate Rinakama 17

If Northland win they are through to the finals. Ropate Rinakama plays his first match of the season for Manawatu.

Northland are through to the finals after winning 41-24.

Waikato – Mosese Mosese Dawai 14 | Bay of Plenty Emoni Narawa 14, Haereiti Hetet 17, Veveni Lasaqa 19

Waikato sit 3rd in the odds conference and will qualify for finals. They can leapfrog the Steamers into second if they win this match.

Emoni Narawa was a late scratching from this match.

NRL Grand Final Day Oct 02

State Championship; Panthers – Robert Jennings 3, Sunia Turuva 5 vs Norths Devils

Turuva scored a double in the NSW Cup Grand Final last weekend. This game should be a cracker.

Turuva scored the final try of the match, ran for 277 metres and broke 12 tackles. Penrith comfortable winners 44-10.

NRL Grand Final; Panthers – Apisai Koroisau 9, Viliame Kikau 11 | Parramatta – Maika Sivo 2, Waqa Blake 5, Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8

Rain clearing but will be played on a damp surface. Both teams like to move the ball but conditions slightly favour Penrith. Blake and Sivo will come under heavy pressure from Nathan Cleary kicks.

Betfred Championship Final Oct 02

Leigh Centurions – Ben Nakubuwai 25 vs Batley Bulldogs

Leigh look unstoppable at the moment. Their 1 and only loss was back in Round 2. Last time these two teams played Leigh won 64-6. They are heavy favourites to win and move into the Super League.

Centurions comfortable winners 44-12. They will be part of the Super League next season.

Top 14 Day 5 Oct 01-02

Stade Francais – Veresa Ramototavbua 6*, Sefa Naivalu 13 @ Bordeaux

Debut match for Veresa Ramototabua who has been in the Paris academy for the past 2 years. He has played 1 match in the ERCC but this will be his Top 14 debut. Sefa Naivalu returns. His last match he was named in the Top 14 team of the week.

Ramototabua played 53 minutes in his first Top 14 match. Bordeaux won 15-10.

Clermont – Alivereti Raka 11 | Lyon – Temo Mayanavanua 4, Noa Nakaitaci 11, Josua Tuisova 12, Tavite Veredamu 22

Nakaitaci and Veredamu play their first match of the season while Tuisova starting at inside centre for second straight week. For Clermont Peceli Yato expected back this month, Apisai Naqaliva also on injured list.

A hat-trick from Raka giving him 5 tries in 5 games to start the season. For LOU Tuisova was yellow carded in the 21st minute before scoring in the 75th.

Brive – Setariki Tuicuvu 13 | Bayonne – Sireli Maqala 13

Both Tuicuvu and Maqala have played every match this season thus far. Tuicuvu has alternated between wing and centre. Bayonne could move into the Top 6 with a win while Brive are are coming into this game with 2 losses in their last 2 matches.

Pau – Lekima Tagitagivalu 5 | Toulon – Jiuta Wainiqolo 11, Waisea Nayacalevu 13

Tagitagivalu starts his first match this season. Waisea Nayacalevu returning from injury. Hasn’t played since the opening round. Pau winger Aminiasi Tuimaba yet to play this season while Jale Vatubua gets his first rest after starting all their games so far.

Wainiqolo scored his 3rd try of the season for Toulon who won 34-17. He is building a great combination for Nayacalevu.

Perpignan – Alivereti Duguivalu 14 | Castres – Leone Nakarawa 8, Filipo Nakosi 11, Vilimoni Botitu 12, Adrea Cocagi 22

Duguivalu continues to be the only regular of the Fijians at USAP. Nakarawa moves to number 8 in his 3rd game for the club. Josaia Raisuqe rested.

Big upset here as USAP beat last seasons Grand Finalists 14-10. Cocagi scored Castres only try.

Racing – Asaeli Tuivuaka 11, Inia Tabuavou 22 @ La Rochelle

Tuivuaka makes his Top 14 debut for the club who was recently revealed to be chasing Josua Tuisova for next season. Tuivuaka gets his opportunity to impress. Kitione Kamikamica rested after playing all 4 games.

Montpellier – Masivesi Dakuwaqa 22 vs Toulouse

Dakuwaqa scored a try in his first match last week.

Tryscorers

NPC – Kini Naholo, Manasa Mataele, Peniasi Malimali

Top 14 – Adrea Cocagi, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Alivereti Raka x 3

Premiership – Joe Cokanasiga

International – Suliasi Vunivalu, Mark Nawaqanitawase x 2

State Championship – Sunia Turuva, Robert Jennings

UK Championship – Senitiki Nayalo

Narawa in top spot

See our Rolling Top 10 players after week 38

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Most Tries in active r.u competitions

Clermont winger Alivereti Raka has scored 6 tries in the 2022/2023 Top 14 Season.

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6
Mosese Mawalu
5
Wame Naituvi
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Josua Vici
4
Peceli Nacebe
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Joe Ravouvou
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Adrea Cocagi
3
Kaminieli Rasaku
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Sefa Naivalu
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Henry Speight
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Joe Cokanasiga
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