Fijian players prominent as French season nears end
28 April, 2011
|Kini Murimurivalu scored a brace for Clermont. |
Almost as many points as there are days in the year from as many games as days in the week – 364 points from 7 games - these are the unreal figures from last weekend’s Top 14, in France, from the penultimate matches of the season, with no little help from a few Fijians.
There were 42 tries in total, eleven alone in the match between Racing Metro and Agen - one coming from Sireli Bobo. Josh Matavesi was in the Racing Metro squad, but did not get the chance to make his first appearance.
Whichever game one went to the action did not stop.
There were two tries from Kini Murimurivalu, as he cemented an automatic starting place in the ASM Clermont line-up, heir apparent to 'Napo Nalaga' no longer, he is officially crowned.
Meanwhile Toulon took revenge on Perpignan for their defeat in the Heineken Cup. Fijian Gabiriele Lovobalavu was again in the thick of it. When not scoring a solo effort from 55 metres out, he was creating tries for others. Lovobalavu’s performance earning him recognition as player of the week by the French press.
Timoci Nagusa was adding a ninth try for the season, all be it some 79 minutes later than last week (see below).
Top entertainment from the Top 14 then, as teams went in search of bonus points, and a play-off place. As Shannon Fraser mentioned in his article last week
, "It’s encouraging to see that several in-form (European) clubs are playing the game similar to that of the proposed direction of the Flying Fijians.’ Perhaps teams are just wanting to play the way the Flying Fijians play, either way a great weekend for supporters of the oval ball game.
Heineken Cup semi-finals this weekend see’s Isa Nacewa’s Leinster up against Toulouse, plus the return of of Pro D2 (French Division 2) action to occupy those more interested in rugby than a mere Royal Wedding (cue Brian O’Driscoll, Richie McCaw et al).
Finally a summary of the games from two weeks ago (16-17th April): French Rugby in the Sun
Summer has come early to much of France, and with it talk of a drought, after a dry winter and spring. That drought does not seemed to have affected Timoci Matanavou’s thirst for tries as he notched up his 16th of the season to keep Mont-de-Marsan in the hunt for a play-off place in Pro D2, with a victory over relegation threatened Dax, for whom Filimoni Bolavucu nevertheless put in a fine match.
Only points difference separate the Daquois and Colomiers (for whom Vereniki Goneva and Malakai Bakaniceva were prominent) with two games to go. The former go to Grenoble in two weeks time where Jone Daunivucu's team are still hoping to catch Lyon for that automatic promotion position.
While they won against Aurillac, Ropate Ratu et al, Lyon went down by a point to Oyonnax in front of 35,000 spectators, a Pro D2 record attendance. Vinaya Waka and Waisale Suka could only watch a 79th minute drop goal sink them.
So all to play for in Pro D2, as is the case in the Top14 where there were wins for Toulon against Toulouse, Seremaia Bai's Castres and Biarritz which kept them all in contention for a playoff spot. Just eight points separate the top seven teams with two games to go. Kini Murimurivalu and Ilikena Bolakoro both scored as did Timoci Nagusa, who took just 45 seconds into the match to do so at Montpellier. But yet again it was Lovobalavu’s all round preformance that was the pick of the week.
And just before I sign off take a look at this effort last weekend from Rupeni Caucau for Toulouse over the weekend
- the comments below the video probably an apt description.
However just to prove he's still a wonderful freak of nature check out this effort from last month
, and when you do you've gotta wonder if anyone else could've scored that try. He actually gives a brief intervew on the try at the end of the clip.