At the conclusion of week 40 we go through our rolling top 10 form players and name our player of the week;
Holding number 1 spot is Emoni Narawa for the 3rd consecutive week. The Bay of Plenty Fullback was a little quieter on Sunday but still managed a game high 120 metres off 15 runs, 4 defenders beaten, 2 offloads and numerous half breaks. The Steamers knocked off Champions Waikato in their own backyard and will face Canterbury in the Semi Finals.
Bayonne centre Sireli Maqala at 2 is his highest placing on the list (up from 4 last week). The Olympic Gold Medallist continues his hot form in the Top 14 and scored a try in his sides win over European Champions La Rochelle.
Jiuta Wainiqolo holds 3rd spot despite not playing on the weekend for Toulon. He was rested after playing all 5 games to open the season.Embed from Getty Images
In his 14th appearance on the list this year and first since the start of the Premiership season is Saints hooker Sam Matavesi at number 4. He’s probably been unlucky not to be on the list earlier. The tireless forward clocked in 9 runs and 16 tackles in their win over Wasps.
North Harbour’s season ended at the hands of rivals Auckland over the weekend calling an end to a successful NPC debut season by Isoa Nasilasila who holds 5th spot on the list. His year isn’t over yet as he’s expected to line up for Fiji in the Autumn Nations Series in November which will cap off a remarkable year for the young man.
Forcing his way back into our rolling top 10 at number 6 is Toulon star Waisea Nayacalevu. Named in the Rugbyrama team of the week for his 2 try effort against Brive, the Serua native was punishing in attack and defence and named man of the match. It’s the 16th time he has been in the top 10 this year.
Biarritz lock Johnny Dyer comes back into the list at #7. He has started every match this Pro D2 Season and continues to be a turnover machine for his side. Another who is unlucky not to be on the list earlier. With the Flying Fijians Northern Tour just around the corner he is primed for a return to the national team.Embed from Getty Images
At #8 Stade Francais centre Sefa Naivalu has been consistent all season and hovering around our Top 10 for a few weeks. He finally breaks through this week after another solid effort for the Parisian sides victory over Perpignan which included his 3rd try of the season.
Auckand Hooker Soane Vikena moves up a spot into number 9 in his second consecutive week. Auckland eliminated North Harbour with the hooker throwing for over 90% again.
Rounding off the list at 10 is Bath winger Joe Cokanasiga who has been clocking over the metres on some bustling runs while Bath struggle to notch up a win. His 140 metres were the most in the match against Gloucester. He also beat 10 defenders putting him amongst the most defenders beaten in a single game by any Fijian this year.
A few players were close to selection this week: Filipo Nakosi, Adrea Cocagi, Jale Vutubua, Manasa Mataele, Viliame Mata & Alex Hodgman.Embed from Getty Images
Week 40 player of the week
Waisea Nayacalevu’s performance against Brive get’s him our player of the week award. The veteran centre is starting to settle into his new team and has returned to the form he showed with Stade Francais earlier this year. 2 tries, punishing defence and man of the match for Toulon.
Special mention to Viliame Mata who was named Edinburgh player of the match in their close lose to the Lions.