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Rugby World Cup: Raka "phenomenon" shines against Tonga

2019-10-06T14:55:28.520Z

If France is in the quarter-finals, it owes much of it to his winger of Fijian origin, Alivereti Raka. He delivered a leading performance against Tonga (23-21) on Sunday for his ...



For the World Rugby organization, who made it his man of the match after the match won by the Blues against Tonga (23-21), Raka has represented a real "nightmare" in the eyes of the opponents defenders.

A complete nightmare to defend against, the powerful Alivereti Raka was the @Mastercard Player of the Match for #FRAvTGA

13 carries (# 1)
142 meters (# 1)
One try # POTM #StartSomethingPriceless # RWC2019 pic.twitter.com/XCOVioxitJ

Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 6, 2019

With his devastating hooks and his finisher instinct, Alivereti Raka (1.89 m, 96 kg), disappointing since his arrival on the international scene, caught up on Sunday in Kumamoto.

"Fijian wingers are extraordinary," said coach Tongai Toutai Kefu. "We knew he was a threat but we should not have watched him anymore, be more connected in defense."

The 24-year-old Clermontois was decisive on the two French tests. First with an inside hook to eliminate two defenders before serving Virimi Vakatawa on his inside (6th). Then with a kick to follow for himself that allows him to overflow Cooper Vuna and flatten (32nd).

The ASM player, who ran 142m in hand, was dangerous on almost all his balls and almost scored a second try on a personal exploit (kick to follow again in the race, 66th).

Three tries in four matches

The result of this neo-international, who discovered the XV of France in early July during the summer preparation, this time is largely positive. Unlike his performance against Scotland at the end of August, Edimburg, marked by the defeat of the Blues (17-14) where, penalized three times, he had committed two in-front without being able to make the difference in attack.

And especially unlike that of Wednesday against the United States (33-9), where he had all the trouble in the world to control the ball made slippery by moisture, multiplying clumsiness, but also attacking opponents (2 tackles missed for only 1 successful).

Jacques Brunel kept him holder against Tonga to reaffirm his "confidence" after this "mixed performance". "It's not a last card, it was planned for a long time, but the fact of replaying will do him good," the coach had anticipated, inspired on the spot.

The staff told him since July that he had to leave his area and propose elsewhere. Raka is still running but many wingers would have scored 3 tries in 4 matches ... Almost nine months after the official delivery of his French passport, he has managed to integrate with the Blues.

"Everyone buried him this week because you are used to crossing the field and when he does not cross it, he is criticized," said Damian Penaud, his teammate at the ASM, adding: "Nobody doubts Raka's abilities and talent, he made a great match and contributed to the victory." The "phenomenon", according to the word of the three-quarter center Sofiane Guitoune, is running.

With AFP

Source: france24

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