The first week of February was a week full of highlights despite 4 competitions not running. Peceli Yato left everyone in awe as he ran in 3 tries in the final 30 minutes of the Clermont vs Castres match and Toshiba’s super duo Seta Tamanivalu & Jone Naikabula continued their incredible run of tries.
We now move our attention to the 6th weekend of 2023, we see an even more condensed week with the Top 14 and League One having bye weeks joining the Gallagher Premiership & URC.
Jump to – Pro D2 | Super Rugby Trials | NRL Preseason | League One | Nationale | Betfred Championship | France Elite 1 | Trycorers
Pro D2 Round 20 Feb 9-10
Oyonnax – Gabiriele Lovobalavu 12, Joe Ravouvou 14 | Biarritz – Johnny Dyer 4
Rouen – Benito Masilevu 11 | Grenoble – Pio Muarua 8
Masilevu coming off a big performance where he scored a 50 metre try. He comes up against his old club and teammate.
Grenoble leaving Rouen tryless winning 11-3. Rouen couldn’t back up their big win over Oyonnax.
Montauban – Epeli Momo 8, Sevanaia Galala 12, Semesa Rokoduguni 14 @ RC Vannes
Galala starts his 2nd match after making his debut last weekend. Rokoduguni returns to the starting side while Momo starts at Number 8 for only the 2nd time in his career.
Rokoduguni scored in the 71st minute and again 3 minutes later. The first he beat 2 defenders to score & the second was a long range special. Vannes scored a 81st minute try to steal the game and win 40-37.
Provence – Luke Tagi 3 vs Nevers
Tagi returns but no sign of Adrian Sanday this weekend. Eroni Sau missing from the lineup also after rumours started circulating this week of a possible release to join the Fijian Drua. Sau hasn’t enjoyed much game time this year with only 5 matches to his name after playing 22 last season.
Nevers are without Alivereti Loaloa.
Provence were a little too good winning 19-9.
Soyaux – Sikeli Nabou 4, Nasoni Naqiri 12, Ledua Mau 13, Manasa Saulo 23 vs Massy
Soyaux won this match 21-19.
Colomiers – Peni Rokoduguni 12 | Beziers – Watisoni Votu 14
Votu scored in the 55th minute. 5 yellow cards were handed out in this match. Colomiers were too strong 39-20.
Aurillac – Christa Powell 12 vs Carcassonne
Aurillac held on to win a tight yet high scoring match 30-26.
Agen – Kolinio Ramoka 12, Tevita Railevu 14 | Mont de Marsan – Kaminieli Rasaku 11
The battle between Rasaku and Railevu promises to be a good one. Both players are in very good form as is centre Ramoka for Agen.
Agen flexing their muscles here scoring 5 tries to 1 and winning 41-19.
League One Round Round 5 Feb 11
Div 2 Continuance
Kamaishi Seawaves – Seta Koroitamana 20 @ Uruyasu D Rocks
The only match in Division 1 & 2. It’s a continuance from last weekend. Koroitamana has provided great impact off the bench this season.
Koroitamana scored his 2nd try of the season. The Seawaves beaten convincingly 26-64.
Championship RL Round 2 Feb 11-13
Whitehaven – Lasarusa Tabu | London Broncos – Henry Raiwalui
Both players in initial 21 man squads. Final lineups confirmed on game day. Tabu made his debut last weekend against Bradford Bulls. Raiwalui could make his debut in this match.
Elite 1 RL Round 14 Feb 11-12
Carcassonne – TBA @ Saint-Esteve – XIII Catalan
NRL Preseason Round 1 Feb 9-12
Warriors – Marcelo Montoya 2, Brayden Wiliame 3, Solomon Vasuvulagi 24 | Wests Tigers – Brandon Wakeham 7, Jahream Bula 14
Montoya scored a hat-trick including a highlight try where he bumped off Tigers fullback Charlie Staines. Wiliame made 2 try assists and looks sharp. Will be a good combination for the Warriors who were far too good winning 48-12. Vasuvulagi came off the interchange bench and scored a try late in the match.
Bula was very impressive in his first trial for the Tigers. A player who has come out of nowhere and is a real chance at the fullback spot going into the season regular.
Knights – Daniel Saifiti 8, Jacob Saifiti 10 vs Sharks
Not looking good for the Knights who put out a very strong lineup yet lost the match 16-28.
Panthers – Sunia Turuva 3 | Eels – Isaac Lumelume 5
Turuva being trialled at centre is interesting. The fullback spot at the Panthers is locked in so he will have make his mark at wing or even centre. Lumelume makes his first appearance as an Eel.
Lumelume scored in the 57th minute. The final score read 22-16 to Penrith but the Eels were never really in the game.
Dragons – Mikaele Ravalawa 5 vs St Helens
Ravalawa is back after missing the RLWC due to injury. The powerful winger will test himself against the Super League Champions St Helens.
St Helens came out firing and got the job done winning 30-18.
Roosters – Joshua Wong 11, Vuate Karawalevu 25 @ Storm
Exciting Fiji Bati winger Karawalevu gets a chance to impress. The Roosters are much stronger on paper with the Storm resting the bulk of their main squad members.
Karawalevu had a chance to score the opening try but tripped and couldn’t get the ball down before going into touch. Was a good game of footy but the Roosters had a bit too much experience winning 32-24.
Cowboys – Laitia Moceidreke 2, Taniela Sadrugu 8 vs Dolphins
Sadrugu is in line to make his first grade debut this season and it could possibly be at prop going by the trial selections. He was outstanding at the RLWC last year. Moceidreke, one of the top tryscorers in the Qld Cup last season also gets an opportunity to push his name up the pecking order.
Moceidreke scored a double including the try that drew them level at 22 all. The Cowboys missed the conversion to win the game.
Super Rugby Trials Feb 11-12
Highlanders – Mosese Dawai 11 (1st half), Jona Nareki 11 (2nd half) | Crusaders – Chay Fihaki 15 (1st), Jone Rova 13 (2nd)
Rova, a New Zealand U20 representative last year is in the Crusaders development squad this year. A star of the future in a stacked Crusaders roster. A player with a low centre of gravity, has great balance and very much in the Timoci Tavatavanawai mould.
Moana Pasifika – Timoci Tavatavanawai 14, Levi Aumua 23, Sam Wye 21 (2nd) | Cheifs – Pita Gus Sowakula 8 (1st) Peniasi Malimali 11, Emoni Narawa 14 (2nd)
Malimali gets his first opportunity in a Chiefs jersey. The Counties winger was one of the Breakout stars of last years NPC season.
Sowakula scored for the Chiefs in the 35th minute when he picked up from the back of the scrum 5 metres out. Malimali scored in the 2nd half while Narawa scored 2 brilliant tries. Chiefs were too good in this one winning 48-7.
Blues – Jacob Ratumatavuki-Kneepkens 15 (1st), Alex Hodgman 1, Soane Vikena 2 (2nd) | Hurricanes – Solomone Naiduki 11, Salesi Rayasi 32, Epeli Nalaga 33
A famous name lines up for the Hurricanes. Nalaga, younger brother of former Flying Fijian Napolioni Nalaga and Agen winger Inoke Nalaga, will come off the bench against the Blues.
Naiduki, a former Parramatta Eel gets his first shot at making a name in the 15 man game.
Naiduki made a few good carries in the first half including a line break with his first touch. The game went back and forth until the Blues scored late, holding on to win 28-21.
Reds – Peni Ravai, Seru Uru, Filipo Daugunu, Suliasi Vunivalu | Waratahs – Mark Nawaqanitawase 14, Langi Gleeson 20, Nemani Nadolo 23
First match for Vunivalu this year. The 2 time NRL Premiership winner has 1 season to force his way into a Wallabies jersey.
Nadolo scored the winning try in the 75th minute. The replay showed he dropped the ball over the line but with no TMO at the game, the referee had to make a call and it was to the the Waratahs advantage.
Gleeson was sin binned not long after he took the field in the second half but was strong in the back end of the game. Final score Waratahs 33-32.
Nationale Round 18 Feb 10-12
Stade Nicois – Sunia Vola 1, Laijiasa Bolenaivalu 8 @ Albi
Bourgoin – Kemueli Lavetanakoroi 5, Naibuka Rokua 14 @ Suresnes
Valence – Ben Neiceru 12 | Narbonne – Save Totovosau 11
Totovosau scored his 2nd try of the season. Valence with the win 30-24.
Tarbes – Josaia Vakacegu 12 | Carqueiranne-Hyères – Tevita Raikuna 21
Cognac – Jone Tuva 11, Isimeli Kuruibua 13 | Dax – Ilikena Bolakoro 12
Chambery – TBA vs Blagnac
NRL Preseason – Marcelo Montoya x 3, Solomon Vasuvulagi, Isaac Lumelume, Laitia Moceidreke x 2
Pro D2 – Semesa Rokoduguni x 2, Watisoni Votu
Super Rugby Preseason – Nemani Nadolo, Pita Gus Sowakula, Peniasi Malimali, Emoni Narawa x 2
League One – Seta Koroitamana
Nationale – Save Totovosau
This article will be updated frequently throughout the weekend.