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Monday, June 23, 2008

Napolioni Nalaga's two tries help Clermont to the Top 14 Final

Napolioni Nalaga's two tries help Clermont to the Top 14 Final

Clermont have secured themselves another shot at the French Top 14 title after crushing Perpignan 21-7 in the first of the Semi-Finals this past weekend. The victory was in part due to the Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga, who scored two good tries on the day.

The atmosphere at a boiling Stade Velodrome in Marseille was festive to say the least, as 55 000 colourful fans packed the stadium knowing that a place in the prestigious final was 80 minutes away for one of the two star teams.

After 22 minutes though, when Nalaga scored his first, you could see the writing was on the wall as Clermont showed their dominance over their forward based opposition. Their multicultural backline - featuring an Australian, Italian, South African, Fijian and Frenchmen - shone as they went about the task of doing the business on Perpignan, the fourth place team who they were a whole 17 points ahead of on the log.

Nalagas first try looked easy, as he simply brushed aside a feeble tackle from Nicolas Laharrague that, for a man of the Fijians strength and balance, had no chance of ever fazing him. The powerful hand-off allowed him to scoot down the line and dot down for his 17th try of the season.

With the halftime score at 16-0, the game looked all but over, and when seven minutes after the break Nalaga was released again just inside his own half, the ominous reality for Perpignan was that another try was on the cards. A simple one on one with their replacement winger Christophe Manas was not enough to stop the big man Nalaga, as he brushed him aside and dived over, taking his tally for the season to 18 tries, easily the front runner in the Top 14.

This boy is a star in the making, if not one already, and as weve said before, is one to watch and someone Clermont will do well to hang onto for the future.

This victory means that they will now meet Toulouse in the final of the Top 14, after they themselves beat Stade Francais, a game that well try bring you the best bits from sometime this week.

Final Score: 21-7 to Clermont


:: Related Posts ::
Percy Montgomery's nightmare vs Clermont
Fijian flyer Napolioni Nalaga's Top 10 Tries
Time: 04:16

Posted at 6:42 pm | 26 comments

Viewing 26 comments

Anonymous June 23, 2008 6:44 pm

this guys powerful...almost as powerful as NOPOLeon was during the french revolution!!!hahahahahaha!!! get it!!NAPOLeon-NAPOLioni!!man im funnyand sharky please dont make a sly comment!

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TheFullback June 23, 2008 8:25 pm

^^^ hahahaha lolYe gotta love that first handoff

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speedy June 23, 2008 9:22 pm

is that anonymous the same anonymous who posted another mildly witty comment on another video, and got just as excited with himself?..fair play, at least he hasnt dished out the usual "OMG terrible defence!!"or some sort of comparison to another winger..nalaga is a monster like..i cant really see clermont losing to toulouse..i mean, you saw what ojo and tagicakibau did to toulouse, and they are hardly massive are they, compared to nalaga?..clermont won both regular season meetings as well so..

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Shaft June 23, 2008 9:41 pm

THAT anonymous is a bit of a muppet for not using a name so we know who he is. At least he manages to entertain himself with his jokes though... Killer handoff's by Nalaga. He just looks so powerful and well balanced on the run. The final should be good. The Top 14 has been good this year, with the profile having been lifted significantly in the past couple of seasons, particularly because of the other foreigners who's moved there. Next year, with Collins, Carter etc.. it should be good.

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Remy June 23, 2008 9:59 pm

the first handoff was amazing!!!

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Anonymous June 23, 2008 10:43 pm

thankyou thankyou all guys for the support, and yes that was me on the tait video speedy, you catch on quick, or should i say SPEEDY!!hahahahahaha you guys get it?yes i know im a funny guy, it comes naturally to be honest with you all...but thankyou for the support.p.s-i hereby declare myself as- 'ACE'

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Chazza June 24, 2008 4:44 am

what a homo name get it?

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Anonymous June 24, 2008 8:18 am

Good player!!! His statisticals? 16 tries in 12 matches (+ those two tries) during the championship, therefor 1 try all the 58 min!!!I think Clermont will win the Top 14 final.

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nesianrugby June 24, 2008 11:08 am

Fijian balance & pace!Nesian rugby hard ;)

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minstrel_boy June 24, 2008 1:02 pm

shame for perpignan, to have such a great fans and play such a boring rugby...

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Ben June 24, 2008 2:34 pm

"shame for perpignan, to have such a great fans and play such a boring rugby..."+1We could say the same for the Biarritz Olympique, and the Stade Franais is following their steps... :(By the way who is the commentator with a french accent ? Is it Philipe Saint Andr ?

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Shaft June 24, 2008 3:41 pm

Not sure but according to him Nalaga scoring against Perpignn is 'Easy peasy' lol

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Anonymous June 24, 2008 6:45 pm

The one who comments is stphane catagnde

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kvt June 24, 2008 7:45 pm

"Their multicultural backline - featuring an Australian, Italian, South African, Fijian and Frenchmen"Nice, didn't realize that there were that many different players ethnically in Clermont's backline.The first try was another classic Nalaga handoff. Have seen him score quite a few tries from a handoff like that. And you'd think players would realize you can't go high against Nalaga.Hope to see him on the international stage soon.

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Chazza June 25, 2008 8:22 am

@kvtwe will probably not see him in any international games untill 2011 because clermont wont let him go incase of injury

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TheLiar June 25, 2008 4:40 pm

It's official, Nalaga will accept the french nationality. He'll be french next September if everything goes well. So clearly you won't see him play for Fidji!www.lemonde.fr/sport/nalaga_le_francais.htm

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Anonymous June 25, 2008 7:35 pm

If he preferes to play for France than for Fidji, I think it's a shame. And I'm French. As I think that Vainikolo shouldn't play for England because he's Fijian, I think the same for Nalaga. Why those Fidjians always play for other countries like New Zealand, England or even France now? Because of money! Shit, national pride should be most important than money! And with all the good wingers we have (clerc, rougerie, heymans, medard, malzieu...), i don't think we need another one, even if he's fukin good!Le clairvoyant

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Anonymous June 25, 2008 9:50 pm

to the anonymous above, vainikolos tongan by birth n played rugby league for NZ so its a complicated area. similar principle to nalaga tho, probably will be loads of fuss over it. fact is that tuqiris fijian, sivivatu and half the nz team are from the pacific islands, even the minnows like japan have NZer's in their teams. everybody seems to accept NZ having loads of pacific islanders in their teams so i dont understand why if they can take advantage the northern hemisphere can. doesnt seem to have hurt the NZ team having a few foreign born players, i doubt it will hurt france, england or who ever the next guy plays for. if the players were good enough nalaga wont get a place

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Anonymous June 26, 2008 3:37 am

Re: "to the anonymous above, vainikolos tongan by birth n played rugby league for NZ so its a complicated area. similar principle to nalaga tho, probably will be loads of fuss over it. fact is that tuqiris fijian, sivivatu and half the nz team are from the pacific islands, even the minnows like japan have NZer's in their teams. everybody seems to accept NZ having loads of pacific islanders in their teams so i dont understand why if they can take advantage the northern hemisphere can. doesnt seem to have hurt the NZ team having a few foreign born players, i doubt it will hurt france, england or who ever the next guy plays for. if the players were good enough nalaga wont get a place"The reason everyone accept NZ have so many pacific island players is because almost ALL those pacific island player were either born or raised in NZ. Sivivatu is the only exception, he even played for Fiji under 21 but was stolen with the promise of being a rich all black. Don't expect that to happen anymore because now the Fijian players realise they can play in France and get more money than an all black. Don't know why Nalaga is gonna play for france, he probably wants to be part of a winning team but France suck now and Fiji are coming up.

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elmentiroso June 26, 2008 9:32 am

woa I read it in L'Equipe today what a shocking piece of news, how can he accept that ! He should play for his country he's already making enough money in his club!

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Anonymous June 26, 2008 10:13 am

to the anonymous above, alot of people will say yes NZ have alot of pacific islanders in their team, without fully realising that maoris, polynesians etc lived in NZ before European settlers and yes there are players in the NZ like Nonu, Tuitavake who were born in NZ and are completely NZ. it doesnt seem to be so bigger trend with this years team, although sivivatu, so'oialo, schwalger, lauki, kaino and ben franks who apparently is australian born. looking back on players not in the team or just out of the team, others such as rokocoko and collins were also born in fiji and samoa. whilst it may be that alot of them move to NZ at a young age, it does seem strange when you see the team sheets for a NZ match and in this years case a third of a potential team were born abroad, most often in the pacific islands. iv heard (from NZers) of NZ schools and colleges offering good pacific islanders free education etc to play in NZ and the quality of life is gonna be better there, it seems a bit unfair on the pacific islands who would probably be top tier teams if this happened, although this is down to their economic situations and funding really. nevertheless, it does seem wrong. the irony will be that now NZ will start to lose players to the north, they will probably see why the north has complained for so long!

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J June 26, 2008 10:27 am

"but France suck now and Fiji are coming up."First, Fiji is a great team, France is a great team, a little of respect would be nice.Second, if Nalaga have the french nationality, it's not forbidden for him to play for Fiji no? He still have the both nationality, it's a personnal choice (and a lievremont choice, and i don't think he really need a wingers more, but props certainly!)Have a nice day, sorry for my english.And see you saturday austrian!

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nick June 26, 2008 12:45 pm

umm is it just my crappy computer or is there no sound on this?

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Anonymous June 26, 2008 6:06 pm

I'm french and i never heard or see anything in french sport magazine about Nalaga being French. I think it's just a fake... I hope clermont winSorry for my english.

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Anonymous June 26, 2008 11:49 pm

If you speek english and spanish, you'll understand it's a fake by reading the ID's used by the two guys who posted that they had read about Nalaga being french...I thought someone would notice it before me

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Boz February 28, 2009 6:37 pm

Isn't there a restriction on how many foreign players the clubs can have? By declaring French nationality it would reduce that number for his club. He would still be eligible to play for Fiji.

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