Our Rolling Top 10 Form players after the 41st weekend of 2022. As always our list includes all male players in the 15 a side game either born in Fiji or with Fijian heritage.Embed from Getty Images
Returning to top spot for the 4th time this year is Northampton hooker Sam Matavesi. The Saints edged out Newcastle on the weekend with their tireless hooker scoring his first try of the season. They now sit 3rd on the Premiership ladder after 6 rounds. Matavesi has been one of our most consistent players throughout 2022, this his 15th week in the top 10.
Making his debut on our list is Edinburgh number 8 Viliame Mata. Although he missed most of the year with injury he hasn’t skipped a beat since his return. Edinburgh were big winners over Benetton 53-8 in round 5 of the URC. The Flying Fijians number 8 is 3rd for carries amongst all players in the competition and is a welcome return to the Fiji national side for the Autumn Nations Series.Embed from Getty Images
A hot start to the Top 14 season see’s Castres’ powerful centre Adrea Cocagi force his way into the list in his highest placing at number 3. He scored his 3rd try of the season in their win over Bayonne running a great angle through the defensive line to score next to the posts. He’s been unlucky not to feature on the list since the start of the new season but is back for the 3rd time this year.
Holding number 1 spot for the past 3 weeks is Bay of Plenty fullback Emoni Narawa. The Steamers went down swinging in their Semi Final with Canterbury. Narawa was kept relatively quiet but not for a lack of trying. He caps off his best season to date playing 9 Super Rugby matches for the Chiefs with 5 tries and 8 tries in 11 matches for Bay of Plenty. He is equal with Sevu Reece for most tries by all Fijians in Rugby Union for the calendar year with 13. This is his 11th consecutive week on the list.
At 5 in his 10th straight week is Bayonne centre Sireli Maqala. He drops from #2 after being rested for the first time this season over the weekend. His outstanding 2022 form has earned him a Flying Fijians call-up and will definitely be one to watch in the Autumn tests.
Another player who is likely to earn his first test cap is Australia A winger Mark Nawaqanitawase who comes in at number 6. He was amongst Australia’s best in their 3 game series against Japan XV whether off the bench or starting. He is also having a breakout year and has earned a spot in the Wallabies test squad.
Japan’s warhorse Michael Leitch wasn’t far behind Marky Mark in the their 3 game series. Whilst he wasn’t captain on the team sheet he led by example in all 3 games and is showing no signs of letting up. This is his first showing on our list this year.
Paris centre Sefa Naivalu holds 8th spot after another solid performance which included a try assist for Stade Francais who staged an incredible comeback to defeat Pau on the weekend. He has started in 6 of their 7 games this season with 3 tries to his name.
Moving up one spot into 9 is Bath’s Joe Cokanasiga. Bath are still without a win after 6 rounds but they pushed Saracens right to the death losing out 31-37. Cokanasiga scored his 3rd try for the season, this his 2nd consecutive week on the list.Embed from Getty Images
Rounding off our Rolling Top 10 for week 41 is Canterbury’s young fullback Chay Fihaki. Over their past few games he has really started to come into his own at the back for the NPC grand finalists. He ran a match high 97 metres in their win over Bay of Plenty and will be a big factor in this weekends final with Wellington.
Close to making our list was Eroni Mawi, Manasa Mataele, Vilimoni Botitu, Langi Gleeson & Temo Mayanavanua.Embed from Getty Images
Week 41 Player of the week
Our player of the week award goes to Fijiana tight head prop Siteri Rasolea. Playing 80 minutes in what can only be described as Rolling Thunder in Fiji’s historic World Cup win over South Africa.
She clocked in 11 tackles, 7 beaten defenders from 23 carries with 114 metres gained including her final barnstorming effort to set up the winning try.