As the European Club Rugby Heineken Championship Cup reaches it’s quarter finals, there has been significant impact from the Europe based Fiji Airways Flying Fijians across the tournament.
Amongst the teams to still be contesting the final stages of the tournament are Viliame Mata’s Edinburgh, Leone Nakarawa and Ben Volavola’s Racing 92, Nemani Nadolo and Jim Nagusa’s Montpellier, Vereniki Goneva, Nemani Nagusa, Tevita Cavubati and Josh Matavesi’ Newcastle Falcons, Niko Matawalu and Glasgow plus the Tuisova brothers Josua Tusiova and Filipo Naikso’s Toulon.
The match between Newcastle Falcons and RC Toulon was a tough battle for 7 Fijians among with Nemani Nagusa, Tevita Cavubati, Vereniki Goneva and Josh Matavesi stepping out for Falcons aganst the two Tuisova brothers for Toulon.
A significant highlight for Fijian fans and particularly the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Head Coach John McKee would had to have been watching the 7 players contesting and 3 of them scoring quality tries.
Josh Matavesi score the opening try for Newcastle within 3 minutes of the kickoff, as the new recruit was faithful in his support play and made a terrific run straight to score under the post and stamp the first 5 pointer for the Falcons before England’s Toby Flood add an extra two points from the conversion.
Another Try was set up by Josua Tuisova breaking away from halfway and with the support from his brother Filipo Naikosi using his immense speed dotted the ball in the corne for Toulon.
The third Fijian try came in the 70th minute of the game where robust Fijian number 8 Nemani Nagusa pick up the ball from the ruck and charged his way through the defence line under the post to score for the Falcons.
Toulon took the match but it wasn’t enough to keep them in the tournament, as with Montpellier who were knocked out after their loss to Edinburgh.
Simultaneously across the round, a total of 21 Fijians were playing in different clubs in the Heineken Championship, with undoubtably the stand out performer being the Flying Fijian number 8 powerhouse Viliame Mata who is on top of the Championship table leading the most carries at 115.
Mata is also in 4th place on meters gained covering a total of 394 meters within the 467 minutes of European Championship games he’s played this season.
Mata has completed 28 passes, commited 42 tackles in the past 6 games he played in and beating 14 defenders, completing 10 offloads just behind the offload king Nakarawa at Racing 92 who has a total of 12 signature offloads.
Pool 1 of the Championship is topped by Leinster Rugby with 25 points, pool 2 led by Munster Rugby with 21 points, pool 3 saw Saracens sitting at the top of the Championship table with 28 points, pool 4 is topped by Racing 92 with 26 points and pool 5 is led by Edinburg Rugby with 23 points.
The Quarter Finals will resume on 18th March with Racing 92 v Toulouse, Leinster v Ulster, Edinburgh v Munster and Saracens v Glasgow.