Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Wallabies aim to pump brakes on Fiji's 'Semi-trailer'

By AAP
Semi Radradra of Fiji is tackled by Sam Costelow of Wales

The Wallabies are looking to put the brakes on Fiji’s Semi Radradra with the ex-NRL star in their sights in their Rugby World Cup showdown with a quarter-final berth on the line.

ADVERTISEMENT

Known as “Semi-trailer”, the hulking centre is Fiji’s go-to man with the Pacific Islanders desperate to topple Australia in Saint-Etienne on Sunday (Monday AEST) to keep alive their tournament.

Radradra will need to regroup after fumbling a last-ditch pass that could have led to a match-winning try in their World Cup opener against Wales, instead falling 32-26.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Playing for Parramatta between 2013 and 2017, Radradra had a stunning strike rate with 82 tries from 94 games.

Wallabies assistant Jason Ryles said stopping Radradra would be key to Australia’s hopes of banking back-to-back victories after downing Georgia in their first pool game.

Barring any major upsets a win over Fiji would see the Wallabies and Wales secure the two play-off spots.

“Semi’s one of those guys that bend the line and they like to play off the back of him and in open space they look for him,” said Ryles, himself a former NRL star forward.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He’s a huge influence on their team and one of the guys that we’re certainly going to have to make sure we’re doing a good job on.”

Head-to-Head

Last 3 Meetings

Wins
2
Draws
0
Wins
1
Average Points scored
30
19
First try wins
67%
Home team wins
67%

Wallabies winger Suliasi Vunivalu got the better of Radradra in their last meeting in a 2017 NRL qualifying final, when the ex-Storm star helped his team to victory.

Radradra was one of the Eels’ scorers in an 18-16 thriller at AAMI Park.

“I played against Semi back in club level at NRL and he’s a big threat so I’m looking forward this week to playing him,” said Vunivalu.

“We played each other in the finals and we (Melbourne) got up in 2017 so that was good.

“There’s no banter (between us) – it’s just respect.”

ADVERTISEMENT

One of seven players in the Wallabies squad with Fijian bloodlines, Vunivalu was born and raised in Fiji until he moved to New Zealand as a teen and then on to Australia.

He said he asked fellow Fiji-born winger Marika Koroibete, who was part of Australia’s win over Fiji at the 2019 World Cup, if they would be targeted by the islanders.

“I was actually speaking to Marika about their last World Cup, and what they were saying, like ‘Were they like trying to aim at them, like Fijian on Fijian?’

“He said they were mentioning stuff to Samu (Kerevi) like ‘Belt him, belt him’ in Fijian.

“And I was like, ‘Did Samu know?’ and he said, ‘No, I didn’t want to tell Samu about that’ but yeah I think they’ll be looking forward to the same situation this week.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

0 Comments
Be the first to comment...

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

J
Jon 3 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

37 Go to comments
FEATURE
FEATURE Rugby at the Olympic Games - from the romantic to the ridiculous Rugby at the Olympic Games - from the romantic to the ridiculous
Search