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Friday, May 09, 2008

Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga's Top 10 Tries

Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga's Top 10 Tries

We've featured a a fair amount of brilliant tries from the French Top 14 of late, and coincidentally, a few of them have been from Clermont Auvergne wingers. That's possibly because they're blessed with some standout stars, namely flying Fijian Vilimoni Delasau and French star Aurilien Rougerie .

The man featured today though, is another Fijian, and a name you may not know yet, but will surely be hearing a lot of in the near future. His name is Napolioni Nalaga , and he's currently a try scoring machine in the Top 14 for Clermont.

Twenty two year old Nalaga, who is 6ft3 and weighs over 100kg's, is currently the top try scorer in the French premier division. His first start for Clermont came as a replacement for injured Rougerie, and since then, he hasn't stopped scoring. He scored two tries in each of his first four matches , an incredible feat for a young man starting out in a top division.

He was spotted during the Under 21 World Championship in France in 2006, and was soon invited for a trial at Clermont. The rest as they say, is history.

Big, strong, and supremely quick (under 5 seconds for 40meters), the next in the long line of sensational Fijian wingers is already being compared to greats such as Delasau , Caucaunibuca , with some even daring to call him the next Jonah Lomu because of his raw power and acceleration.

This video features ten of his tries from the season so far, just to give you a taste of why everyones talking about the young man who could prove to be one of the stars of the 2011 Rugby World Cup for Fiji.

Posted at 2:39 pm | 28 comments

Viewing 28 comments

martin May 09, 2008 2:10 pm

More quality from the south sea island.

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Anonymous May 09, 2008 2:39 pm

He never looks like he is sprinting yet he is still pacey as hell, and a powerful runner as well. Looking forward to seeing more of him.

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Anonymous May 09, 2008 2:48 pm

He has absolute gas. Really made me sit up and watch the flyer. Definate Caucau about him. Can't wait to see more of him.

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Anonymous May 09, 2008 3:43 pm

yeah, he is fast, and his long arms and legs make him hard to get a hold of. If I were up against him, I'd hit the arm he carries the ball with, very poor ball carring technique. that said he seems to have a very tight grip on it.Also, seems to really like his finger. He kisses it every time he scores lol ;)

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Ryan May 09, 2008 3:51 pm

No offence to the man he seems like yet another great fijian winger but why would Clermont pick a player "being compared to greats such as Delasau" when they have Delasau sitting on the bench?

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Don May 09, 2008 4:21 pm

I see the speed and raw power , but not to be the one who sounds cynical, but that looks nothing like Caucau or Lomu.I dunno how young he is or how long he's been in the game, but I can see some development in his game if he puts in more...but I dunno, the more u are into the game, the less talented u become...or dont u agree?I mean, yeh ur skills and technique might get better but the raw talent usually fades away, and then u hit somewhat a flatline in ur career.

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David May 09, 2008 5:27 pm

Not sure about that don, shane williams is 31, and better than ever. i can see what some people are saying about this guy, it might just be his great pace, but he makes the defense look a bit daft.

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sambobly May 09, 2008 9:43 pm

I love how every big fast guy is meant to be "the next jonah lomu". I reckon it is almost impossible for a guy like jonah lomu to have the same impact in rugby now days. The players are too big and the tackling technique is too good. For someone to have the same impact as Jonah did, the player will have to be able to sprint even quicker and be a lot bigger. It is not enough to be as fast and big as jonah.

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poccio May 09, 2008 11:22 pm

these tries are really impressive...especially n4...is mauro bergamasco in there trying to bring him down? cause if he is...well...congrats doesn't even come close!! looking forward to see more of him!! only thing, and it has already been said, is that he carries the ball kinda loosely but maybe he's more comfortable in the off loads?

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Anonymous May 10, 2008 8:54 am

No. 4 should've been at no. 2. Now that's raw power.

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adedayo adebayo May 10, 2008 9:24 am

phew! that was very very impressive. the reason that theyd have a player like delasau on the bench is for strength in depth on the bench. imagine having had your arse handed to you for 60 minutes by nalaga, then having to face delasau? it would be all over. this clermont team looks phenonmenal on the counter. some of the hands in the passages leading up to the tries were worthy of a top ten passes compilation. i cant wait to see fiji on a wider stage at 15 a side again!!! also, wasn't matt banahan supposed to be another "next lomu"? i think every winger over 6 foot and over a certain weight gets that tag these days. its smaller players on the wing that make more impact for me, just look at shane williams, jason robinson, clerc and jp pietersen. but thats just my opinion.

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italianscrummy May 10, 2008 12:37 pm

holy. crap. he. is. good.

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Jack May 10, 2008 3:46 pm

I cannot believe how much RD is overrating this guy. He is clearly good, but hes nothing that amazing really tries 10-5 and try 2 are simple run in's and he only has to beat a one defender for most of them. It's a compliment to Clermont for putting him in so many easy try scoring positions but it doesn't make him amazing individually.You have to remember that other than Clermont, Toulouse and Stade Francais the defence is generally poor in French clubsides.Also he has nothing on Caucau, or Lomu and Delasau is not a Fijian great he has emerged in the last couple of years and excelled in the world cup but it doesn't make him a great. I can think of dozens of players that I would rather have on the wing than this guy.

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Pedro Fleury May 10, 2008 5:44 pm

try number 3 .... who offloaded that pass to him???? great skills!!!about the guy, he's got great running skills ... but apart from try number 1, the rest of it was pretty much a result of great team work ..still, a good prospect rugby player

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nesianrugby May 10, 2008 11:25 pm

nesian speed! the pacific production line continues...

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Sharky May 11, 2008 5:43 am

Jack, I have to come to RD's defence here after your comments... I think the point of the article and video here is that this guy is a huge prospect for the future, and he's the top try scorer in one of the top leagues in the world. That alone is enough to create an awareness about him. And if you read carefully, RD isn't comparing him to those players, they're simply stating that this guys HAS been compared to them, by the media and general public I guess. See what I mean? And you have to look outside your little box and realise that this is just an example of what he can do. He's clearly top quality if he's being rated so highly around europe, even if YOU don't feel the video indicates that.Oh and, Delasau has been a Sevens great for years, and besides scoring a few great tries for Clermont recently, will always been one of the best Fijian players ever seen, IMHO anyway.

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charlie May 11, 2008 8:36 am

but does he have a defence??? can he catch the high ball?? so much for being good in attack...but that's only half the game

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julien May 11, 2008 1:32 pm

For all the guys that put try no 4 in 2nd place, in France you don't value the try scorer as much as the whole try, and though raw power is impressive, no way no 2 can be drawn back. Best tries scored by him rather than best actions from him to score.

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kvt May 11, 2008 7:23 pm

Some of Fiji's backline players won't be available for the pacific nations so wouldn't be expecting a performance like the one against wales.(Rabeni suspension, Delasau, Bai and Nalaga playing for Clermont until mid-june)

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Anonymous May 12, 2008 8:15 am

I wouldn't go as far as saying he is the next Caucau or Lomu, those 2 are in a different league....FREAKS OF NATURE"but does he have a defence???"I've watched Nalaga play several times and imo he is one of the best defenders in the Clermont backline, picks up opposition players like a rag doll and turns them over easily on 1v1. His immense strength and speed also gives him the ability to beat opposition players on a 1v1.I would compare him to Alesana Tuilagi, only difference is Nalaga has a more speed."can he catch the high ball??"I havn't seen him have any problem in that area, he was tested several times by Castre and Biarittz and he was as cool as a cucumber.

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Anonymous May 12, 2008 8:42 am

they compared Nalaga to Delasau? 1st of all from what I've seen and heard from Fijian fans, they did not rate Delasau before the 2007 RWC, an awesome spectacle in 7s rugby but only made an impact in 15s during the RWC.I disagree Nalaga is like A.Tuilagi, Nalaga has higher work rate, is a lot faster and is definetly a better defender. Takudzwa Ngwenya burned off Habana and made Tuilagi look like a tool in the RWC. In the Biarritz v Clermont clash over the weekened Ngwenya had several opporunities but struggled to beat Nalaga on the outside. I'm not implying Nalaga is faster the Ngwenya, I do believe he reads the game well and making it difficult for his markers to get past him....when the tables are turned it's a different story altogether, Nalaga either beats his markers with his speed or he just bulldozes his way through.

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EA Rugger May 12, 2008 7:59 pm

Dont get me wrong, I think he is a great player. However, I think many of those tries can be attributed to great teamwork.He is one of those "Giraffe Runners" whom you don't think is moving fast UNTIL you actually try to catch him.Would love to watch him in playing 7s

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Cheyanqu May 13, 2008 7:23 pm

who needs ELVes when you have Fijians?Gimmicks aside, the French league still bring the flair and fun to the game.At the same time, we get to hold on to scrums and lineouts -- those things Aussies call "Anachronisms"Maybe the games are so open because the d-lines aren't as good.[ea rugger -- right on about the giraffes. Their long strides deceive you.]

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evnz June 05, 2008 4:06 pm

jack.try to think outside the box a bit more.he may be slightly overrated but RD are trying to say that he will improve and get better.they aren't the ones comparing him to delasau,lomu,etc.also to the people who sed he was crap.he must be good to be playing for one of the best french clubs.in my opinion hes got loads ov potential for fiji.great vid aswell.this site RULES!

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doyler8 August 13, 2008 4:38 pm

he has the biggest strides ive ever seen

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Anonymous August 24, 2008 6:13 am

I went to school with NapsHe went to Auckland Grammar in 2005 and played in the 1st 15.

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tomasi September 07, 2008 11:13 pm

yea i played against this guy in high sch, soo hard to take him dowm, but he didn't make any trys against us tat year, i was in Auckland Sacred heart then

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Anonymous December 24, 2010 1:57 pm

this guy is a really good player. not only has he got incredible pace and power unlike many huge south sea islanders he doesnt high tackle. im a big fan and i look forward to watching him smash through defenses in the fututre.

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