Selections Week 51

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We’re on the home stretch! Week 51 of 2022. All selections and game notes for all Fijians in Rugby & Rugby League competitions globally.

Understandably, most second and third tier competitions go into holiday mode whilst the big competitions entertain us through the weekend.

Jump to – Top 14 | League One | United Rugby | Premiership

Top 14 Round 13 Dec 22-24

Toulon – Jiuta Wainiqolo 14 | Lyon – Noa Nakaitaci 11, Tavite Veredamu 13

Wainiqolo is one of the form wingers in the Top 14. Toulon are favourites and come off the back of a Challenge Cup victory over Bath. Waisea Nayacalevu is still out with injury for Toulon.

A good battle between the two Fijian wingers. Wainiqolo scoring a double for Toulon who kept Lyon tryless winning 21-3. His finished off a backline move for his first try while his second was much tougher and very similar to last week’s 5 pointer against Bath. He stepped inside 3 defenders and reached out to score. He has proven he is effective on both sides of the field.

Brive – Setariki Tuicuvu 15 | Clermont – Alivereti Raka 11

Tevita Ratuva has been suspended for 4 matches following his dangerous tackle last weekend in the Challenge Cup.
Tuicuvu starts at fullback for Brive while Raka comes back into Clermont’s lineup this week after sitting out their last match.

Brive were staring down the barrel of 10 straight losses if not for a try in the 89th minute! A much needed victory for the team that sits at the bottom of the ladder. Final score 20-16.

Pau – Jale Vatubua 12, Lekima Tagitagivalu 18 | Bayonne – Sireli Maqala 13

Maqala returns after sitting out Bayonne’s Challenge Cup matches.

The match finished tied 22-22.

La Rochelle – Levani Botia 12 vs Bordeaux

Botia returns to the La Rochelle starting side. They sit in 4th position with the possibility of moving up a spot.

Bordeaux come away with victory 12-8.

Castres – Filipo Nakosi 11, Vilimoni Botitu 22 @ Toulouse

Toulouse won the match 22-18 in a game that had only 1 try scored.

League One Round 2 Dec 24-25

Ricoh Black Rams – Nathan Hughes 8, Netani Vakayalia 11 | Toshiba Brave Lupus – Michael Leitch 8, Seta Tamanivalu 13, Jone Naikabula 14

Both teams looking for their first win. Ricoh were beaten comprehensively by the Dynaboars in week 1 while Toshiba went down in a close contest against the Wild Knights.

Ricoh kepts things close and created several opportunities but failed to convert inside the opposition 22. Hughes was yellow carded for a maul infringement in the 54th minute. He was otherwise strong in defence. Vakayalia saw a lot of ball especially as the Black Rams got to desperation mode. Tamanivalu was Tamanivalu, always a factor in Toshiba’s games and Leitch was one of the best on the day. Toshiba won 17-7.

Kobe Kobelco – Michael Little 13 | Hanazono Kintetsu – Semisi Masirewa 11

Masirewa moved to the wing from Fullback. Kintetsu were beaten by 2 points in a high scoring affair last weekend against the Green Rockets. The Steelers suffered a similar fate against the Canon Eagles.

The Steelers too good for the Liners winning 58-36. Little scored their last try and his first or the season. Liners winger Masirewa finished off in the corner for his first try while his second was an incredible effort with several players around him he reached behind his back to score centimetres inside the touchline.

Mitsubishi Dynaboars – Epineri Uluiviti 19, Sam Chongkit 20 | Toyota Verblitz – Jone Nabetelevu 11, Viliame Tuidraki 15

If last weeks results are anything to go by then the Dynaboars will be a major force this season. They dismantled Ricoh Black Rams in the season opener.
Nabetelevu coming off a big performance in week 1 for Toyota Verblitz.

An exciting game of rugby that came down to the wire. Toyota Verblitz had 2 opportunities to score right at the death but they couldn’t get the job done. Uluiviti secured the final turnover for the Dynaboars who held on to win 27-25.

Yokohama Canon Eagles – Viliame Takayawa 11, Inoke Burua 14 vs Kubota Spears

Burua gets a double in only his second match for the club. Takayawa also got his 1st for the season 4 minutes after halftime. Yokohama led for most of the match but shot themselves in the foot in the dying stages giving Kubota a chance to win. The Spears scored only for Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley to miss the kick, an easy conversion by his standard. Final score 27-27.

Shizouka Blue Revs – Samuela Anise 19 | Saitama Wild Knights – Marika Koroibete 11

The Blue Revs had the game in the bag before letting the Wild Knights snatch victory in the final minute. Wild Knights 15-14

NEC Green Rockets – Kavaia Tagivetaua 6, Taqele Naiyaravoro 23 @ Tokyo Sungoliath

Masivou was our player of the week in round 1 amid some strong performances from Semi Radradra, Jone Nabetelevu and Onisi Ratave.
Samu Kerevi yet to play this season due to injury.

Masivou was a late scratching. Tagivetaua moved into the starting flanker position. The Green Rockets faced a clinical Suntory side who were too good 50-19.

Division 2

Kamaishi Seawaves – Seta Koroitamana 20 vs MIE Honda Heat

Kamaishi were comprehensively beaten 75-12. 8 minutes into the second half Koroitamana picked up from the back of the scrum for Kamaishi and went on a 20 metre crossfield run beating 4 defenders along the way to the tryline. Shades of Pita Gus Sowakula!

Toyota Shokki Shuttles – Josh Matavesi 12 vs Hino Red Dolphins

This should be a good test for the Shokki Shuttles against a former Division 1 team. Matavesi has picked up from where he left off last season.

Some great games this weekend and this one was right up there. The Red Dolphins led 15-0 early and 23-7 at the break. The Shokki Shuttles came to life in the second half. Josh Matavesi ran a great angle from the Dolphins 22 metres line beating the fullback to score next to the posts. A penalty try for an intentional knock down saw Toyota take the lead only to surrender that lead in the final minutes. They did however have 1 more try in them. Shokki Shuttles win 37-31.

Premiership Round 13 Dec 23-27

London Irish – Api Ratuniyarawa 4 vs Saracens

London Irish with the upset victory 29-20.

Bath – Joe Cokanasiga 14 @ Newcastle Falcons

Cokanasiga scored his 4th try of the season early in the match for Bath who had a chance late in the game to win the match but conceded a penalty 2 metres out from the opposing tryline. Match ended 20-15 by the way of Exeter.

Gloucester – Albert Tuisue 8 @ Leicester

Off the back of a heavy loss in the Champions Cup where Gloucester sent out an inexperienced lineup. Tuisue has been in good form since returning from suspension.

Tuisue scored in the 41st minute from a lineout drive for Gloucester. The Tigers proved too good at home though winning 28-13.

Bristol – Semi Radradra 13 @ Harlequins TBA

Match will be played on Boxing Day in the UK (Tuesday FJT)

United Rugby Round Round 10 Dec 23-27

Edinburgh – Viliame Mata 8 @ Glasgow

Glasgow winning the derby 16-10.

Benetton – Onisi Ratave 14 vs Zebre

Another local derby, between two Italian clubs. Benetton sit in 12th while Zebre are in 16th position. Ratave looks to have secured the right wing position after a couple of strong performances including his double tryscoring effort in last weekends Challenge Cup match.

Benetton win confortably 38-5. Ratave with a game high 75 metres.


Top 14 – Jiuta Wainiqolo x 2

League One – Semisi Masirewa x 2, Michael Little, Seta Koroitamana, Inoke Burua x 2, Viliame Takayawa, Josh Matavesi

Premiership – Albert Tuisue, Joe Cokanasiga

This article will be updated frequently throughout the weekend.


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