Selections Week 50

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Week 50 sees the return of the Japan Rugby League One competition, round 2 of the Champions and Challenge Cups, the Rugby Europe Super Cup final and more. All Fijians selected in global rugby and rugby league competitions for the 50th week of 2022.
Be sure to sign up to Rugby Europe TV to watch the Rugby Europe Super Cup final between the Tel Aviv Heat and Black Lions. Click here to sign up.
You can view the game live at 12am Sunday Morning Fiji time. Click here for live stream

Jump to – Pro D2 | Champions Cup | Challenge Cup | Nationale | League One | Elite 1 XIII | Championship | Super Cup | Tryscorers

Pro D2 Round 15 Dec 15-16

Beziers – Watisoni Votu 22 | Biarritz – Johnny Dyer 6, Henry Speight 14

Dyer starts at flanker for the first time this season. He is equal with Pio Muarua for most matches by a Fijian in the Pro D2 this season with 12 thus far.

A powerful run on the left wing by Speight opens the scoring for Biarritz in the 5th minute. Beziers won the match 17-12. A big win for the 10th placed side over one of the league leaders.

Nevers – Alivereti Loaloa 13 | Agen – Timilai Rokoduru 14

Rokoduru plays his 5th match this season. He hasn’t seen any Pro D2 action since early October. Last season he played 21 maches for Agen. No Kolinio Ramoka or Tevita Railevu.

Nevers far too strong for Agen, winning 39-13.

Grenoble – Pio Muarua 5 vs Massy

Grenoble sit mid table and take on Massy who are languishing at the bottom of the rankings. Muarua has been consistent all season and will line up for his 13th match.

Grenoble with the win 38-15. Massy with 4 yellow cards in this match. They are in real danger of finding themselves back in the Nationale 1 competition next season.

Stade Montois – Veresa Ramototabua 8, Kaminieli Rasaku 11, Nacani Wakaya 13 vs Carcassonne

Veteran Wakaya has been in terrific form since returning from injury. Rasaku who is firmly nested in our rolling Top 10, has scored 3 tries in 4 matches for the club including last week.
Ramototabua starts at number 8 for the first time, it’s his 2nd match for the club. Mont de Marsan have won their last 3 matches and are starting to look like last years Grand finalists. They now sit in 3rd spot behind Oyonnax and Biarritz.

Mont de Marsan flex their muscles here and make it 4 on the trot with a 42-13 win.

Aurillac – Christa Powell 12 @ Rouen

Aurillac have won 3 of their last 4 matches. Powell is enjoying a solid run of games for the club this season. This will be his 11th match, 1 away from equalling his highest tally of games in a single season.

Aurillac kept Rouen tryless winning 26-6.

Sikeli Nabou will skipper Soyaux against Montauban. Credit – SAXV Charente

Montauban – Semesa Rokoduguni 14 | Soyaux – Sikeli Nabou 4 (c), Ledua Mau 13, Manasa Saulo 23

Epeli Momo is rested for this match while Josua Vici is still recovering form injury. Nabou captains Soyaux with Saulo relegated to the bench. A battle between 14th and 15th placed teams.

Montauban back in the winners circle with a close 25-19 win. Soyaux only try was a penalty try in the 6th minute.

Provence – Luke Tagi 3, Adrian Sanday 22 vs Vannes

Tagi has been in the news cycle this week after his signing with Top 14 club Bayonne. This will be his 11th match this season for the 6th placed Provence.

Tagi was yellow carded in the 13th minute. Provence ill-discipline costing them here with 4 yellow cards handed to them in the game. Vannes won 35-21.

Oyonnax – Gabiriele Lovobalavu 12, Joe Ravouvou 14 @ Colomiers

Lovobalavu scored his 1st try for the season last weekend. The veteran centre notches up his 8th match this season for the league leaders.

Ravouvou punishing in defence. He scored in the 30th minute after chasing a cross field kick. Oyonnax win a match that got heated at times 29-12.

Nationale Round 14 Dec 16-17

Valence vs Cognac Cognac forfeited the match as they had insufficient numbers. Valence get the default 25-0 win.

Dax – Ilikena Bolakoro 12 @ Bressane

First placed Dax take on 3rd placed Bresanne.

Dax kicked an 80th minute penalty to edge out Bressane 15-13 solidifying their spot at the top of the table.

Suresnes – Petero Tuwai 12 vs Rennes

Suresnes with a hard fought 10-8 win.

Stade Nicois – Laijiassa Bolenaivalu 8, Sakiusa Bureitakiyaca 14, Sunia Vola 17 | Narbonne – Luke Nakobukobua 8

Narbonne with the win 33-26.

Bourgoin – Kemueli Lavetanakoroi 6, Naibuka Rokua 11 | Carqueiranne-Hyères – Daivd Raikuna 11

Rokua made his debut last week get’s another start for Bourgoin.

Lavetanakoroi scored in the 36th minute. Bourgoin with the win 20-15.

Tarbes- Jone Seuvou 5, Josaia Vakacegu 12 | Chambery – Vereniki Goneva 22

Tarbes with the win 22-16.

Champions Cup Round 2 Dec 16-18

Gloucester – Albert Tuisue 8 @ Leinster

Tuisue was man of the match in his return last weekend. Gloucester have selected what looks like a second string side for this game against the might of Leinster.

Tough going for the Lions losing 57-0.

Edinburgh – Viliame Mata 8 | Castres – Josaia Raisuqe 21

Sadly some French clubs don’t take these matches as seriously as the UK and South African sides. Castres resting most of their first liners.

Mata opened the scoring when he powered over in the 19th minute. Edinburgh won 31-20. A vital win for the Scottish club after a close loss to Saracens last week.

Lyon – Temo Mayanavanua 5, Noa Nakaitaci 11, Tavite Veredamu 12 | Saracens – Eroni Mawi 17

Mayanavanua’s first match since the Flying Fijians match against the French Barbarians.

A match that had everything including a double from a prop and a try assist from a hooker that fly-halves would envy. Lyon were down 15-0 before making a comeback and taking the lead before Saracens pushed back in front. They played the final 13 minutes down a man thanks to a red card. Mayanavanua was excellent for Lyon, Veredamu with shades of Vakatawa at times with strong defence and powerful runs while Nakaitaci who was a a late addition showed great touch setting up a try.
Saracens kicked a penalty at the death to give them an 8 point win and deny Lyon a bonus point. Saracens 28-20.

Clermont – Apisai Naqaliva 12 @ Leicester

Clermont take on English Champions the Tigers who haven’t selected any of their Fijians this week. Naqaliva played 55 minutes for Clermont in last weeks win over the Stormers. No Alivereti Raka for this match.

The Tigers take the victory 23-16.

La Rochelle – Levani Botia 22 @ Ulster

Ulster down 30-0 at the break, rallied in the second half to pull back the current Champions. La Rochelle held on to win 33-29.

London Irish – Api Ratuniyarawa 19 @ Stormers

Stormers too strong for the Exiles winning 34-14.

Northampton – Sam Matavesi 2 vs Munster

Matavesi returns to the starting side. The Saints lost their Round 1 match against La Rochelle 12-46.

The Saints kept tryless in this match. Munster won 17-6.

Racing – Kitione Kamikamica 7 @ Harlequins

Kamikamica powered over in the 39th minute to give Racing the lead at the break. He was red carded in the 50th minute, quote from epcrugby – “Tempers flaring as Kitione Kamikamica makes a thundering hit on Nick David. The Quins man is flipped head over heels and after a look from the TMO, Kamikamica is shown red.” Harlequins won the match 14-10.

Montpellier – Masivesi Dakuwaqa 22 vs Ospreys

The first time these two sides meet. Dakuwaqa will be hoping for more minutes this week after only seeing 4 last weekend.

Ospreys with the road win 22-10.

Challenge Cup Round 2 Dec 16-18

Brive – Tevita Ratuva 5, Setariki Tuicuvu 15 vs Connacht

Tuicuvu starts at fullback for Brive who suffered a heavy defeat to Cardiff in round 1.

Ratuva was yellow carded in the 31st minute. After trailing 3-21 at the break, Brive staged a big comeback to only lose by a converted try in the end 31-24

Toulon – Jiuta Wainiqolo 11 | Bath – Joe Cokanasiga 14

Wainiqolo scored the first try of the match in the 14th minute. A nice move on the sideline to step inside two defenders, carry a 3rd over the tryline and also reach out and score.

Pau – Jale Vatubua 12 @ Dragons

A cracking game won by Pau who keep their qualification hopes alive. They won 27-21.

Onisi Ratave lines up for Benetton against Bayonne. Credit – Benetton Rugby

Bayonne – Eneriko Buliruarua 23 | Benetton – Onisi Ratave 11

Ratave plays back to back games for Benetton for the first time. He was heavily involved in last week’s match against Stade Francais. Benetton will do well to give him more opportunities. Would have loved to see Ratave up against Maqala but not to be as Bayonne have rested the star centre.

Ratave with a big performance. The former Drua Flyer scored a double and set up Benetton’s final try. His first try was a quick pickup from the ruck beating 2 defenders to score, his second again beating 2 defenders to score a beauty in the corner. He also set up their final try after a powerful run offloading to his halfback who finished off the move. Benetton with 7 tries on the road winning 45-7. Be hard to beat for player of the week.

Bristol – Semi Radradra 13 vs Zebre

Radradra is running freely and looks to have fully recovered from his knee operation. This is his 3rd straight match since returning.

A crazy start to the game where Bristol were gifted their first 2 tries through some unbelievably bad play from Zebre. Radradra scored the Bears third try running it in untouched under the posts. He also set up another later in the match with a sublime offload. Bristol with 2 wins in 2 Challenge Cup matches. Final score 35-19.

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Championship Round 10 Dec 17-18

Bedford – Tui Uru 8 @ Jersey Reds

Jersey too strong for the Blues winning 45-5.

Coventry – Senitiki Nayalo 8 | Richmond – James Little 13

Nayalo has been in solid form this season. Coventry are in 3rd position heading into this match with Richmond at 9th.

Comfortable victory for Coventry 48-12.

Cornish Pirates – Rusiate Tuima 8 vs Doncaster

Tuima seems to be enjoying his time at the Pirates. Could see some game time in the Champions Cup for Exeter.

This match was postponed due to an “unplayable pitch”.

League One Round 1 Dec 17-18

Division 1

Ricoh Black Rams – Nathan Hughes 8, Netani Vakayalia 11 | Mitsubishi Dynaboars – Epineri Uluiviti 19, Sam Chongkit 20

Our first look at Hughes for Ricoh. The former Bristol backrower is vying for a spot in the Flying Fijians RWC squad. Chongkit is coming off his best season for the Dynaboars who earned promotion from division 2.

Vakayalia is the first Fijian to score in the new League One season. He crossed in the 74th minute for Ricoh. It was their only try. Hughes was given a breather after 60 minutes. Ricoh found it tough losing in a surprising scoreline 8-34.

Jone Nabetelevu’s impressive pre-season form has earned him selection in round 1. Image credit – Toyota Verblitz

Toyota Verblitz – Jone Nabetelevu 11, Viliame Tuidraki 15 | Shizouka Blue Revs – Samuela Anise 19

Nabetelevu starts in his first competition match for Toyota Verblitz. He wasn’t offered much opportunity for Kurita last season in division 3 but he was very impressive in their pre season matches and gets his chance to shine in the top division this season. Tuidraki starts at fullback. Two exciting young players looking to make a big impact in 2023.

Nabetelevu scored 6 minutes after halftime. Blue Revs went into the break with a 1 point lead but Toyota Verblitz came home the stronger winning 31-26.
The flying winger made a 40 metre sideline run stepping inside the fullback to score under the posts. He also pulled off a great cover tackle late in the second half. A big first showing for the Naitasiri native. A contender for player of the week.

Panasonic Wild Knights – Marika Koroibete 11 | Toshiba Brave Lupus – Michael Leitch 8, Seta Tamanivalu 13, Jone Naikabula 14

Defending Champions Panasonic Wild Knights take on last year’s semi finalists Toshiba. Koroibete has been a standout this year. Good to see Naikabula back for Toshiba. Injury robbed him of a test appearance for Japan this year.

Leitch scored the first try of the match 11 minutes in. Naikabula dropped a pass with the line begging. He made a line break on the last play of the match but his chip kick over Koroibete landed over the sideline. Wild Knights holding on for a 22-19 win.

Naiyaravoro returns to the Green Rockets and will come off the bench in round 1. Credit – NEC Green Rockets

Green Rockets Tokatsu – Aseri Masivou 8, Kavaia Tagivetaua 20, Taqele Naiyaravoro 23 | Kintetsu Hanazono Liners – Semisi Masirewa 15

Naiyaravoro returns to the Green Rockets and will add big impact off the bench. Masirewa spent most of last season injured and makes his return in round 1. Sanaila Waqa is still recovering from an arm injury suffered in Japan XV’s match against Australia A in September.

Masivou with a big game for the Green Rockets. A few big runs including a couple linebreaks, set up a try for Tagivetaua who ran 30 metres untouched. Masivou also scored his own try earlier in the match with a powerful 15 metre run carrying defenders with him. A contender for player of the week. Green Rockets won the match 36-34.

Yokohama Canon Eagles – Viliame Takayawa 11, Inoke Burua* 14 | Kobelco Kobe Steelers – Michael Little 13

A Fijian wing pairing for Yokohama. Burua makes his League One debut. He is a former Suva Grammar second five-eight who joined the now defunct Sunwolves franchise in 2020.
Little plays his first competition game for the Steelers.

An exciting contest won by the Canon Eagles who held on at the death despite the Steelers best efforts. Yokohama 39-30 Kobelco.

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Division 2

Hino Red Dolphins – Josefa Lilidamu 13 | Kamaishi Seawaves – Seta Koroitamana* 20

Our firs look at Koroitamana who will come off the bench for Kamaishi. He joined the club in September via the way of the Heartland Competition in New Zealand.

Koroitamana was thrown into the action 3 minutes after halftime. The Red Dolphins raced out to a 33-0 halftime lead only to be pulled back in by Kamaishi who lost a respectable 48-26.

Toyota Ind. Shokki Shuttles – Josh Matavesi 12 vs Blue Sharks

Matavesi will be one to watch this season. A big first season for Toyota Shokki Shuttles who easily won Division 3.

After leading for most the match the Shokki Shuttles let the Blue Sharks take the lead in the 65th minute. Matavesi was heavily involved for the Shokki Shuttles. He laid on a try through a beautiful offload off the ground to give his side back the lead. They went on with the job to win 30-19.

France Elite 1 XIII Round 10 Dec 17-18

Carcassonne – Jowasa Drodroagi 8 @ Avignon

Carcassonne remain top of the table after beating the Bisons 24-18. Drodrolagi scored Carcassonne’s first try.

Villenueve – Netane Masima 6 @ Toulouse

The Leopards struggled in this game and are still without a win. Final score Toulouse 50-22 Villenueve.

Tel Aviv will contest their first Super Cup final this weekend. Credit – Tel Aviv Heat/Jone Manu

Super Cup Grand Final Dec 17

Tel Aviv Heat – Semi Kunatani 8, Peceli Nacebe 11, Jone Manu 13, Sailasa Turagaluvu 19, Nemani Buliruarua 21 vs Black Lions

Jasa Veremalua out with injury unfortunately. Tel Aviv’s first final in only the second season of the competition. Nacebe and Manu have got most the praise this season and deservedly so but Kunatani has been excellent for the Heat. Usually making incisive runs, offloading and being a workhorse in defence. Buliruarua provides great punch off the bench along with Turagaluvu.

A tough opening half for Tel Aviv who trailed 3-20 at the break. They threw everything at the home side in the 2nd half including a try to Peceli Nacebe but the Black Lions prevailed 29-17. Nacebe finishes on 6 tries as the Heat’s top tryscorer.

Tryscorers

Pro D2 – Henry Speight, Joe Ravouvou

League One – Netani Vakayalia, Michael Leitch, Jone Nabetelevu, Aseri Masivou, Kavaia Tagivetaua

Champions Cup – Viliame Mata, Kitione Kamikamica

Challenge Cup – Jiuta Wainiqolo, Onisi Ratave x 2, Semi Radradra

Nationale – Kemueli Lavetanakoroi

Super Cup – Peceli Nacebe

France Elite 1 – Jowasa Drodrolagi

This article will be updated frequently throughout the weekend.

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Most Tries in active r.u competitions

Clermont winger Alivereti Raka has scored 7 tries in the 2022/2023 Top 14 Season and 1 in the Champions Cup.

Alivereti Raka
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Jiuta Wainiqolo
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Kaminieli Rasaku
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Jone Naikabula
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Mosese Mawalu
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Kolinio Ramoka
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Luke Nakobukobua
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Joe Ravouvou
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