Great Weekend for Our Top 14 Players
Our players continue to shine for their respective clubs in the French Top 14 competition. It is great to see the return of 2011 Rugby World Cup centre Albert Vulivuli from injuries. The tough Savusavu native has stamped his mark in the Racing 92 side where he plays alongside Joe Rokocoko and Dan Carter. Also young second five eight Jale Vatubua is having a grand time with Pau playing alongside All Blacks star centre and double Rugby World Cup winner Conrad Smith.
Votu’s try fail to lift Pau
Former Vodafone Fijian men’s rugby sevens winger Watisoni Votu scored a try for Pau but it was not enough as they went down 18-22 to Toulon at the Stade du Hameau. Seventeen (17) points from Leigh Halfpenny’s boot helped Toulon claim their first victory over the season.
Toulon led 9-8 at the interval thanks to three Halfpenny penalties with Votu crossing for a 17th minute try for the hosts. Votu was supported by second five eight Jale Vatubua who combined well with former All Blacks star centre Conrad Smith. Toulon is eagerly awaiting the arrival of ‘Fijian bus’ Josua Tuisova to boost their Top 14 campaign.
Fijian duo in La Rochelle fightback
La Rochelle with Fijian fullback Kini Murimurivalu and No.8 Jone Qovu came from behind to win against Grenoble 22-19 at the Stade des Alpes. Grenoble had just unveiled Fijian rugby league convert Sisa Waqa who for the first time was on the run on team. Grenoble improved upon their dismal outing in Round 1 away to Stade Français – when they shipped over 50 points – to lead at the break, thanks to Gio Aplon’s converted try and two penalties from the boot of Jonathan Wisniewski. La Rochelle had been kept in the game up to half-time thanks to tries from Zeno Kieft and Hika Forbes, with a conversion from new signing Brock James, to trail by a point at the break 12-13.
Rokocoko, Vulivuli help Racing win
Defending T14 champions Racing 92 brushed past newcomers Lyon with a 29-16 bonus-point win on Saturday. Racing 92 fielded former All Blacks star Dan Carter and Fijian born winger Joe Rokocoko while former Flying Fijian centre Albert Vulivuli came in as a substitute. Following their opening day loss away to UBB this was an instant turnaround from Racing, with centre Henry Chavancy scoring two tries, one either side of half-time. Frédéric Michalak opened the scoring for Lyon with a penalty and that lead lasted for 14 minutes before Racing responded after a Dan Carter miss. Juan Imhoff, fresh from featuring in the Sevens at the Olympics in Rio, was put away from an inside
Fijian flyers drive Brive to victory
ball by Carter to score. Carter couldn’t land the conversion. Chavancy was next to score with his first try of the match, converted by Carter, but two penalties from Michalak cut the gap to 12-9 by the interval. Brive with Fijian wingers Benito Masilevu, Sevanaia Galala scored an upset 28-20 win over Stade Francais at the Stade Amedee Domenech. Brive also later bought in Flying Fijian lock Dominiko Waqaniburotu to strengthen their forward pack while Waisea Nayacalecu toiled hard for Stade Francais. An entertaining opening 40 minutes saw Brive go in 16-13 to the good and their points all came from Germain, who scored a try, conversion and three penalties. In reply the Parisians carded a Sergio Parisse try while Jules Plisson kicked the extra two points and two penalties. But after the break it was all Brive as the boot of steady full-back Germain, as it has so often in the past, proved decisive. He struck a further three penalties before the hour mark that pushed Brive into a 25-13 lead with a quarter of the game left.