Here we go, the 7th weekend of 2022, competitions are in full swing as the Top 14, Premiership, URC & League One return. The Super League kicks off in England while the American MLR get their season rolling.
Let’s take a look at all the Fijians selected this weekend;
Jump to – Pro D2 | Top 14 | Nationale | Premiership | United Rugby | MLR | League One | NRL Trials | NSW Womens | Super League | Betfred Championship | Super Rugby Trials | Tryscorers
Pro D2 Round 21 Feb 17-18
Agen – Kolinio Ramoka 12, Tevita Railevu 14 | Provence – Luke Tagi 3, Adrian Sanday 22
Ramoka and Railevu both in great form to start the year. Agen have dropped only 1 of their last 5 matches and sit in 3rd position. Provence have won their past 2 games and come into this match in 7th place.
Agen looked to have won the match with a 79th minute penalty only for Provence to tie things up with their own penalty in the 81st minute. Final score 23-23.
Stade Montois – Kaminieli Rasaku 11 vs Vannes
No Veresa Ramototabua this week for Mont de Marsan. After going 7 games unbeaten Stade lost their last 2 matches to Agen & Provence.
Stade return to the winners circle with a comprehensive 30-3 win. Rasaku again proving to be their most lethal player. While he didn’t cross the whitewash he was heavily involved in their attack.Embed from Getty Images
Biarritz – Johnny Dyer 4, Henry Speight 14 vs Rouen
Speight returns after missing the past 2 games. No Benito Masilevu for Rouen who come into this game in 12th place & will find it tough against the 4th placed Biarritz.
Speight scored his 6th try of the season in the 46th minute. Biarritz far too good winning 44-8.
Nevers – Alivereti Loaloa 13 @ Beziers
Loaloa playing his 17th match of the season. He has started all but 2 matches in their 2023 campaign.
Both teams came into this match evenly matched and 80 minutes couldn’t separate them. Final score 32-32.
Montauban – Semesa Rokoduguni 14, Epeli Momo 19 | Oyonnax – Joe Ravouvou 14
Rokoduguni was our player of the week for week 6 after a dazzling 2 try performance. They face the league leaders who have only lost 4 games this season.
Oyonnax proving why they’re the team to beat winning 34-21. Incredibly all Montauban’s points were via penalty kicks.
Soyaux – Sikeli Nabou 5, Nasoni Naqiri 12, Ledua Mau 13 @ Carcassonne
After losing 7 games straight Soyaux managed a win last week against last placed Massy. Soyaux with an all Fijian centre pairing for the 4th straight game.
Despite keeping Carcassonne tryless, Soyaux needed a 75th minute try to win the match 20-15.
Grenoble – Pio Muarua 8 | Colomiers – Peni Rokoduguni 22
In his 34th match for Grenoble, Muarua scored his 1st try for the club. He scored the first try of the match in the 3rd minute of play. Grenoble with the win 34-20. Big carries, multiple offloads and bruising defence. Muarua was one of if not the best on ground.Embed from Getty Images
Top 14 Round 18 Feb 18-19
Bayonne – Eneriko Buliruarua 12, Sireli Maqala 13 | Stade Francais – Peniasi Dakuwaqa 22
Maqala returns after sitting out last round. He pairs up with Buliruarua who has been in good form for Bayonne despite the side losing 4 of their last 5 games. Dakuwaqa plays his 1st Top 14 match after 2 Challenge Cup appearances.
A big scalp for Bayonne as they take the spoils 29-26.
Racing – Kitione Kamikamica 8, Peniami Narisia 16, Inia Tabuavou 21 | Brive – Tevita Ratuva 4, Mesulame Kunavula 8, Setareki Bituniyata 11, Setariki Tuicuvu 13
Kamikamica will start his 10th of 14 matches this season. Narisia plays his 5th straight match for Racing who haven’t won back to back games since round 12 while Brive sit in 2nd last place losing their last 2 matches. Kunavula returns from injury and plays his 3rd game for Brive, his 1st since round 9. Tuicuvu has been excellent this season constantly featuring in our rolling Top 10. After coming off the bench in round 1 he has started all 20 matches since, mostly at centre with a few stints at fullback.
Racing proving too good winning the match 34-24. Kunavula played very well on his return while opposing number 8 Kamikamica also having a big impact for Racing. He scored his 4th try this season (including Champions Cup). Bituniyata was yellow carded for a tip tackle.
Lyon – Temo Mayanavanua 5, Noa Nakaitaci 11, Josua Tuisova 12, Tavite Veredamu 14 | Montpellier – Masivesi Dakuwaqa 19
Dakuwaqa was named in the Midi Olympique team of team of the week in his return from injury last round. Montpellier face a red hot Lyon side who are unbeaten in the their last 3 matches. Tuisova is back to his destructive best, especially at centre where he is creating a lot of opportunities for his outside men.
Lyon make it 4 straight wins after another impressive performance. Tuisova again amongst their best. The ‘Bus’ could have scored a try himself instead gifting it to his teammate. Veredamu had a try assist while Mayanavanua continuing his top form. Final score Lyon 31-21.Embed from Getty Images
Perpignan – Eddie Sawailau 22 | Pau – Jale Vatubua 12, Lekima Tagitagivalu 18
Sawailau is having his best run of form since leaving Valence 2 years ago to join USAP. This will be his 7th match this season. Pau won their last match after going without a win in their previous 7 games. Vatubua has started all his 14 matches this season. Pau sit in 11th with USAP camping at the bottom of the ladder.
A high scoring match that went the way of the home side. Sawailau scored his 2nd try in as many weeks. USAP 49-29.
Castres – Filipo Nakosi 11, Vilimoni Botitu 12, Leone Nakarawa 18 | La Rochelle – Levani Botia 7
Castres have only 1 win to show in their past 5 games while La Rochelle are also looking for a win after dropping their previous 2. Josaia Raisuqe is suspended after a red card in Castres loss to Clermont. Nakarawa returns after missing their past 2 games. Castres sitting in a disappointing 12th place and face the possibility of missing the finals after finishing runners up last season.
Nakarawa came on in the 53rd minute and was determined to get Castres moving in the right direction. He made a few positive plays, one nearly leading to a try of a classic Nakarawa offload. Botitu was busy all match and nearly scored on a couple occasions. Botia looked to have scored a try but was disallowed due to a knock on in the ruck. Castres dropping another home match 17-32.
Toulon – Jiuta Wainiqolo 11, Waisea Nayacalevu 13 vs Toulouse
Toulon have won their past 4 games and sit in 8th spot. They face a mammoth task against the league leaders who have only lost 1 match from their past 10.
Wainiqolo was yellow carded in the 71st minute for provoking a reaction from the opposition backrower who was red carded for pushing Wainiqolo in the face. Toulon scored the try to seal the game in the 79th minute but the following 2 minutes turned into a crazy period of attacking play. Final score 17-6
Clermont – Alivereti Raka 11, Peceli Yato 18 @ Bordeaux
Yato benched which would be a strategic move to keep him fresh for the back end of the game.
Clermont struggled to get anything going in attack. Yato made a few big tackles but Bordeaux proved a little too good at home winning 18-9 in a game where no tries were scored.
Nationale Round 19 Feb 18-19
Stade Nicois – Sunia Vola 1, Laijiasa Bolenaivalu 8, Sakiusa Bureitakiyaca 11 | Valence – Ben Neiceru 12
Bureitakiyaca returns for Nice who are up against the 2nd placed Valence. Neiceru has been in great form.
Nice with the win 30-17. Bureitakiyaca scored his 2nd try of the season.
Cognac – Isimeli Kuruibua 13 @ Blagnac
Bourgoin – Kemueli Lavetanakoroi 5, Naibuka Rokua 14
Narbonne – Save Totovosau 11 vs Tarbes
Totovosau coming off a tryscoring performance. Narbonne in 8th position against Tarbes in 7th.
Dax – Ilikena Bolakoro 12 | Suresnes – Petero Tuwai 12
Tuwai scored his 3rd try of the season when he crossed in the 3rd minute. Dax however proved why they’re the competition leaders winning 38-22.
Bressane – Kavekini Tabu 14 @ Carqueiranne-Hyères
Bressane at the end of a 40-0 drubbing.
Premiership Rugby Round 17 Feb 17-19Embed from Getty Images
Bristol – Semi Radradra 13, Siva Naulago 14 vs Newcastle
The Bears with only 3 wins in the Premiership season come up against a Falcons side who have only 5 wins.
Bristol too good winning 30-12. Radradra recorded 4 offloads in this match, the most of any player. While he isn’t playing badly, he is a fair way off the elite centre that we know he can be.
Gloucester – Albert Tuisue 8 vs Harlequins
A heavyweight clash between 2 of the competitions best.
Tuisue recorded 40 metres off 13 carries. The most metres by any forward in the match. Gloucester win a close one 28-26.
Bath – Joe Cokanasiga 14 | London Irish – Api Ratuniyarawa 4
Bath sit at the bottom of the table while London Irish sit one spot outside the top 6.
London Irish too strong 25-10.
United Rugby Round 14 Feb 18-19
Edinburgh – Viliame Mata 8 @ Scarlets
No Lee Roy Atalifo this weekend for Edinburgh. Mata has 141 carries this season, the 2nd most by any player in the URC. Edinburgh have won 3 of their past 4 matches and sit in 9th position.
Scarlets with a big win 42-14.
Benetton – Onisi Ratave 14@ Cardiff
Ratave returns for Benetton. He has 2 tries in his past games. While Benetton lost their last match they won their previous 6.
Final score Cardiff 30-13.
Super Rugby Trials Feb 17-18
Highlanders – Jona Nareki 11 | Moana Pasifika – Levi Aumua 13, Timoci Tavatavanawai 14
Will have to wait for video of this match. Highlanders won 33-24.
Hurricanes – Solomone Naiduki 11, Kini Naholo 14, Isaia Walker-Leawere 22, Salesi Rayasi 34 | Crusaders – George Bower 1, Chay Fihaki 15
No video for this game yet. Hurricanes scored late to win 31-26.
Waratahs – Nemani Nadolo 14 vs West Harbour & Two Blues
Chiefs – Peniasi Malimali, Pita Gus Sowakula | Blues – Hoskins Sotutu, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens, Alex Hodgman, Soane Vikena
Malimali is looking good for the Chiefs. Scored a try in this match showing great reflexes and anticipation. Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens and Vikena also scored for the Blues. The Chiefs won 47-33.
Western Force – Issak Fines-Leleiwasa 9, Manasa Mataele 11 vs Fijian Drua
The Drua were too good in their 2nd trial match. They forced their opponents into countless penalties. Iosefo Masi was outstanding at 13 while Selesitino Ravutaumada also very good in attack. Caleb Muntz started at 10 and was very sharp in his passing and kicking game. He may force Mick Byrnes hand to start the fly half in round 1. The Drua won the match 46-38.
League One Round 8 Feb 18-19
Black Rams – Nathan Hughes 8, Netani Vakayalia 11 vs Tokyo Suntory
Hughes returns to the starting side against one of the competition heavyweights. Vakayalia has been one of Ricoh’s best this season.
A determined Ricoh tried to upset the 2nd placed Suntory and put up a good fight but eventually conceded 7-18. Hughes scored the Black Rams only try in the 32nd minute.
Canon Eagles – Inoke Burua 14 | Brave Lupus – Michael Leitch 8
No Seta Tamanivalu or Jone Naikabula this weekend for Toshiba. Viliame Takayawa is out for the season with injury.
Burua with another double taking his tries tally to 5 for the season. The powerful winger is having an impressive rookie season for the 4th placed Canon Eagles. 107 points scored in this match, final score Yokohama 59-48.
Toyota Verblitz – Viliame Tuidraki 11, Vitaliai Tuidraki 22 | Green Rockets – Aseri Masivou 8, Maritino Nemani 13, Taqele Naiyaravoro 23
Nemani returns for the Green Rockets. Both sides need a win with NEC in 11th place recording only 1 victory thus far and Toyota Verblitz in 9th place with 2 wins.
NEC looked likely to win until they conceded a 75th minute try. Final score Toyoa Verblitz 21-18.
Dynaboars – Epineri Uluiviti 5, Sam Chongkit 6 @ Kubota Spears
The Dynaboars struggled against the in-form Kubota. Uluiviti scored his 2nd try in as many games.
Steelers – Michael Little 13 | Blue Revs – Samuela Anise 19
Little returns for Kobelco Kobe. He has been sidelined with injury since round 4.
An exciting match where Little scored 2 tries for the Steelers who edged out their opposition 32-29.
Major League Rugby Round 1 Feb 17-19
Nola Gold – Maciu Koroi 20 | New England – Paula Balekana 11
Balekana has been one our best in the MLR over the past 2 seasons. The Freejacks were eliminated in the Semi Finals last year by rivals and eventual champions New York.
The Freejacks start with a bang winning 36-12.
Old Glory DC – Tevita Naqali 5 vs Chicago Hounds
The former Fijian Drua NRC lock returns for his 3rd MLR season.
Old Glory too strong for the competition newcomers 42-27.
Utah Warriors – Tuvere Vugakoto 2 @ San Diego
Former Flying Fijians representative Vugakoto starts for the Warriors to open the season. He scored 3 tries in 15 games last season and 6 over 36 career games for the club.
San Diego too good in this fixture 33-17.
Houston – Keni Nasoqeqe 19, Emmanuel Albert 23 @ Dallas
Super League Round 1 Feb 17-19
Leigh Leopards – Ben Nakubuwai 15 vs Salford
The opening round of the Betfred Super League and last season’s Championship winners Leigh, who have rebranded and renamed their side the Leopards (formerly Centurions) take on the Red Devils to open their campaign. Fiji Bati prop Nakubuwai comes off the bench in this match.
The Red Devils were too good winning 20-10.
Hull FC – Kane Evans, Joe Lovodua vs Castleford
Lovodua was outstanding in his first Super League season. Unfortunately injury robbed him of a World Cup appearance but the dynamic hooker is back for a bigger and better 2023.
A highscoring match where Hull led 32-6 after 47 minutes but held on to win a desperate comeback attempt 32-30.Embed from Getty Images
NRL Trials Feb 17-19
Newcastle – Daniel Saifiti 8, Jacob Saifiti 10 | Parramatta – Isaac Lumelume 2, Reagan Campbell-Gillard 8
Lumelume scored his 2nd preseason try for the Eels who were too good for the Knights 36-14.
Roosters – Joshua Wong 17 vs Manly
Wong is a good chance of snaring a bench spot in round 1 after 2 good preseason performances. Manly proved the better winning 28-16.
St George Illawarra – Mikaele Ravalawa 5 vs Rabbitohs
The annual Charity Shield match. Ravalawa was fairly quiet in the Dragons first trial loss to St Helens and will look to bounce back this week.
The Dragons woes continue losing 24-42.
Penrith – Sunia Turuva 4 vs St Helens
Turuva again named at centre. There’s a chance of a late swap with Stephen Crichton who starts at fullback.
The World Club Champions tag belong to St Helens after the Super League’s Premiers got the job done in torrential rain. The Panthers scored 2 2nd half tries including one in the final minute to send the game into Golden Point. The Saints ended the game with a field goal winning 13-12. Penrith sorely missing Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau.Embed from Getty Images
Warriors – Brayden Wiliame 3, Marcelo Montoya 5 | Melbourne – Tui Kamikamica 17
Wiliame was superb in his return to the NRL. 2 try assists in their win over the Tigers. Montoya a hat-trick and will look to carry that form into this weekend against the Storm. Kamikamica also makes his first appearance for the year.
Wests Tigers – Brandon Wakeham 7 | Canberra – Semi Valemei 24
Wakeham starts at halfback with Luke Brooks sidelined with injury. The Tigers were disappointing last week and are still without some of their key players including skipper Api Koroisau.
Canterbury – Viliame Kikau 11 vs Sharks
Our first look at Kikau in a Bulldogs jersey. The Bulldogs have built a quality roster and are expected to be much stronger in 2023.
Kikau scored off his first touch when he regathered a kick to dive over. He had to leave the field with concussion and failed the HIA test ending his afternoon early. The Sharks prevailed 36-16.
Dolphins – Robert Jennings 5 vs Gold Coast
NSW Womens Premiership Round 3 Feb 18-20
Rabbitohs – Patricia Raikadroka 3, Josephine Maejiirs 17, Ema Rainima 20 (RES) @ Tigers
Final score Tigers 23-22.
Mounties – Sereana Naitokatoka 6 @ St George
Mounties far too good with a 62-0 win. Naitokatoka scored in the 51st minute.
Illawarra – Ana Raduva 18 @ Magpies
Betfred Championship Round 3 Feb 17-19
Whitehaven – Lasarusa Tabu 16 @ Featherstone
A tough night for Whitehaven losing 4-76.
Pro D2 – Henry Speight, Pio Muarua
Super Rugby Trials – Peniasi Malimali, Soane Vikena, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens
League One – Nathan Hughes, Inoke Burua x 2, Michael Little x 2, Epineri Uluiviti
Nationale – Sakiusa Bureitakiyaca, Petero Tuwai
Top 14 – Kitione Kamikamica, Eddie Sawailau
NSW Women’s – Sereana Naitokatoka
NRL Trials – Isaac Lumelume, Viliame Kikau