The Search for Silverware Underline 14 April, 2011
Kini Murimurivalu's try earned Clermont a semi-final spot.
A weekend of high drama in the two European cup competitions; ASM Clermont and Stade Francais getting the better of La Rochelle and Montpellier respectively, in the Amlin Cup; Toulouse and Perpignan seeing off Biarritz and Toulon, in the Heineken Cup.

For Clermont, Kini Murimurivalu,s try in the 72nd min ended any hopes Norman Ligairi and Seru Rabeni might have had of making it a better season for them.

Former Fiji Navy player Sakiusa Matadigo's entry into the game in the 61st min could not help Montpellier recover a game, which at one stage they led 16-0, but finally lost 32-28.

The 2 winners meet in the semi-finals for a place and chance of silverware in Cardiff, in May.

In front of 55,000 spectators, in Barcelona, and 30° heat, Gabirieli Lovobalavu's efforts were in vain, as Toulon went down 29-25 in an enthralling match. But perhaps the cliffhanger was played out at San Sebastian. Biarritz came back from 17-0 down at half-time to the cup holders, to level the game in the 78th minute. An Ilikena Bolokoro try making it 17-17 in the rain.

The missed conversion took the game into extra-time. Toulouse, without Rupeni Caucau or Vilimoni Delasau, finally sealed the match in the last minutes, with a 'charged down' try; they now must go to Dublin to meet Isa Naweca and Leinster. His try against Leicester being decisive. The dream of a second European cup medal continues.

While all this was going on, the ProD2 campaign continued. Waisale Suka was again outstanding as Lyon pursued the route to the Top 14 with an away win at Tarbes; two more Daunivucu tries allowing Grenoble to stay in touch of the leaders.

At the other end of the table, Vereniki Goneva's Colomiers win closed the relegation gap to a single point over Dax, who lost despite an excellent game from Ratu Naisa Narukutabua.

Other news: Deacon Manu's recovery from his broken arm in a game back in December, is taking longer than expected. He will not play again this season for the Scarlets; RWC hopes in doubt!

Flying Fijian 7's captain, Seremaia Burotu has signed a contract to play for Biarritz next season.

Sevanaia Rokobaro is moving up from Aix to Toulon. An incredible mover from the lower echelons of French Rugby in Federal 1 to Top 14 all in the space of 3 years. All of which brings me to the topic of the week.

The subject of contracts came to the fore with the news that Nadolo's Exeter Chiefs may be deducted points for irregularities over his registration, after his move from Bourgoin in France.

He was withdrawn from the team sheet against Bath last week-end, when it became clear that the use of his Australian passport to play in England conflicted with his registration as a 'Fijian'.

The Aviva premiership allows only two 'foreign' players in the named squad of 23; This was not the case for the match against Leeds. Players are reliant on their agents/managers to oversee any moves between clubs, to arrange the legal documents etc.

Normally these matters go smoothly; such agents/managers are approved by the rugby federations, and often qualified in law. However there are the occasional problems, as above. They may be complicated when two languages are involved. Fijians playing in France is such a case.

There is a thing called the 'pre-contract', a signing of a document with a view to agreeing terms. Matadigo found himself in conflict over such a situation; A pre-contract with Colomiers, while committing himself to a move to Montpellier. Happily the court case was in his favour.

So those looking in the direction of France, make sure everything is in order. In the next two years there will be greater restrictions on the registration of non 'E.U' players, or those not 'formed' in France. Agents are a 'necessary evil', much derided in football circles, but still respected and regulated in rugby.

Now for last week's questions – View article: A French countdown.

1.The magic number is 25. Matanavou - 15 tries and Daunivucu - 10 tries.

2. One; Why? Because although Josh Matavesi has moved to Racing Metro, he has yet to play. So it's a certain Nemani Nadolo, despite the problems.

3. Perpignan, Stade Francais and Bourgoin.

4. 45 - Twenty one in the Top 14, a figure that will change for the better next season; 24 in Pro D2. 

That's all for this week.

Moce mada.

Other April 2011 News Underline
All Blacks v Flying Fijians Test confirmed 29 April, 2011 
Fiji U20 squad named 29 April, 2011 
Fijian players prominent as French season nears end 28 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Unshackled 28 April, 2011 
Fiji faces Samoa in Scotland 27 April, 2011 
Male appointed Fiji U20 Coach 27 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby to host IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 26 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby thrilled to host PNC 26 April, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: The Development of Attacking Play 26 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Sunny Skies up North 22 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby's Kaji Camp 21 April, 2011 
Fiji women prepare for Pacific Games 20 April, 2011 
A Fistful of Rugby Dollars 20 April, 2011 
Player banned for 6 months 20 April, 2011 
Historic Agreement Signed Between FORU and ONOC to Grow Rugby in Oceania 19 April, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: Emerging trends in 7s rugby 19 April, 2011 
Latest Vacancies at Fiji Rugby 18 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 7 Results 17 April, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 7 Tables 17 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 7 Team Lists 15 April, 2011 
Board removes Tanivula as Digicel Fiji 7s coach 15 April, 2011 
Port Elizabeth Exciting New Host of South Africa Sevens 14 April, 2011 
Sri Lanka Restored to Full IRB Member Union Status 14 April, 2011 
Rugby World Cup 2011 to Showcase 3D Technology 14 April, 2011 
The Search for Silverware 14 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Collaboration 13 April, 2011 
Pools and Matches set for London Sevens 13 April, 2011 
Gold Coast to kick off new HSBC Sevens World Series 13 April, 2011 
Tikoisuva appointed Flying Fijians RWC manager 11 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Tables 10 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Results 10 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Nadroga thrash Suva 32-10 09 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Burn the Ships 09 April, 2011 
A French countdown 07 April, 2011 
Savou gets Harrow Scholarship offer 07 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Team Lists 07 April, 2011 
Major Independent Report Highlights Rugby Participation Growth in Emerging Markets 06 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Preparing to be the best 06 April, 2011 
FBCL extends partnership with Fiji Rugby 06 April, 2011 
New Zealand win Adelaide Sevens to stretch World Series lead 05 April, 2011 
RWC Preview - the Group of Death 03 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 5 Results 03 April, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 5 Tables 03 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Rewa stun Nadroga 27-29 02 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 5 Team Lists 01 April, 2011 
CFL re-commits to Fiji Rugby 01 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Northland defeats Tailevu 27-18 01 April, 2011 
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