RUGBY: P27

Fi­jian rug­gers im­press at T14

Fiji Sun - - Weather / Tv, Movie Guide - LEONE CABENATABUA Edited by Paula Tu­vuki Feed­back: leonec@fi­jisun.com.fj

With most of our France­based play­ers en­gaged dur­ing the Test clash against Eng­land on Sun­day, it was an op­por­tune time for other Fi­jian play­ers to show their worth dur­ing the week­end’s Top 14 com­pe­ti­tion. Lead­ing the charge were for­mer Voda­fone Fi­jians 7s for­ward Sere­maia Burotu and vet­eran cen­tre Gabirieli Lovobal­avu. Here is how they per­form;

BUROTU TRY LIFTS BRIVE

For­mer Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s for­ward Sere­maia Burotu crashed over for a try as Brive wal­loped Pau 38-25 at Stade Amédée Domenech. The hosts led 13-8 at the in­ter­val thanks to Ben­jamin Lapeyre’s try and eight points from the boot of full-back Gae­tan Ger­main. Fur­ther tries from Burotu, Ni­co­las Bezy and Takudzwa Ng­wenya saw them keep Pau, whose try-scor­ers were Charly Malie, Chris King and Marvin Lestremau, out of reach as the vis­i­tors go home with­out even a los­ing bonus-point for their ef­forts. Burotu com­bined well with winger Se­vanaia Galala while Pau had Wati­soni Votu and Jale Vatubua.

LOVOBAL­AVU’S BAY­ONNE MOVE UP

Bay­onne with classy Fi­jian sec­ond five eighth Gabirieli Lovobal­avu claimed a price­less 16-13 win over Toulouse at Stade Jean Dauger. The win lifts them off the bot­tom of the stand­ings. This was just their third tri­umph of the sea­son and was hard-earned as Toulouse missed the chance to get amongst the play­off po­si­tions. Big Semi Ku­natani was put on the wing for Toulouse. It was a tied ball-game at 13 apiece by the turn­around as Bay­onne man­aged to claw them­selves back from 0-10 down with a spir­ited re­sponse. Bay­onne scrum-half Manu Saubusse missed an early penalty and Toulouse num­ber eight Gil­lian Galan made him pay when he barged over from close-range. With Sébastien Bezy’s con­ver­sion fly­ing over, the vis­i­tors were 0-7 in front in atro­cious weather con­di­tions in France.

NAGUSA SCORES, MONT­PEL­LIER LOSE

Stade Français claimed a 21-17 vic­tory over Mont­pel­lier at Stade Jean Bouin in a re­sult that pulls them away from the base­ment. For­mer Voda­fone Fly­ing Fi­jian winger Ti­moci Nagusa scored for Mont­pel­lier but it was in vain while Jo­saia Wini came in as a late sub­sti­tute for Stade Francais.

Jules Plis­son was the shin­ing light for the hosts as he slot­ted seven penal­ties, mean­ing two-try Mont­pel­lier came up short in the con­test. Stade Français struck first in Paris as a Plis­son penalty gave them a 3-0 buf­fer against an out­fit 10 points in the league ahead of them be­fore kick-off. As ex­pected it was a cagey af­fair and there was some nee­dle too, with Mont­pel­lier lock Jac­ques Du Plessis sent to the sin-bin on 15 min­utes by ref­eree Salem At­ta­lah for strik­ing Stade Français flanker Syl­vain Ni­co­las. The vis­i­tors sur­vived that pe­riod though as it re­mained 3-0.

NALAGA’S LYON FALL SHORT

Cler­mont stay top of the pile in France as they edged out Lyon thanks to a last-minute drop-goal from scrum-half Mor­gan Parra as they raced to a 16-13 win. Jac­quesLouis Pot­gi­eter put Lyon 0-3 in front early on be­fore Parra landed two penalty goals for a 6-3 cush­ion at the turn­around. Arthur Itur­ria went over for the game’s first try on 44 min­utes, which was con­verted by Parra, as Cler­mont pushed 13-3 in front. Burly winger Napo­lioni Nalaga toiled hard for Lyon against his for­mer club. Pot­gi­eter then slot­ted a penalty and when Bap­tiste Couil­loud scored a con­verted try, sud­denly Lyon were level on 66 min­utes. But with time all but up, Parra was once again the hero for his club side as he sent over a late drop-goal that won the con­test.

ROKOCOKO STARS IN RACING WIN

Racing 92 with elu­sive Fi­jian-born All Blacks winger Joe Rokocoko claimed their sev­enth win of the Top 14 sea­son as they edged out a spir­ited Greno­ble side 29-24 at Stade Yves du Manoir. First-half tries from Yan­nick Nyanga and Dim­itri Szarzewski to Fa­bien Alexan­dre’s ef­fort for Greno­ble made it 14-10 at the break. Greno­ble fielded Edward Sawailau who put on a ster­ling per­for­mance. Fran­cois van der Merwe and Henry Cha­vancy added tries three and four for Cler­mont in the sec­ond pe­riod, with Lau­rent Bouchet and Chris Far­rell cross­ing for Greno­ble but they came up just short of their hosts, who are now sev­enth in the league stand­ings.

Joe Roko­cocko. Ti­moci Nagusa

Napo­lioni Nalaga on the burst for Lyon.

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