Semi Radradra escapes the clutches of Wales winger George North. Picture: Gabriel Bouys/AFP
Semi Radradra escapes the clutches of Wales winger George North. Picture: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

NRL clubs can forget about signing Semi

Fiji's former NRL winger Semi Radradra is equal parts tank and gliding sports car as the hottest property at the Rugby World Cup after another eye-popping display.

Radradra has become the talk of the tournament for his wonderful performance to nearly upset Wales at his new code's showpiece event in Japan.

The bare stats of his 15 ball-carries from the wing for 148m, with five tackle busts, don't begin to tell the story of his involvement in a pulsating 29-17 contest under the domed roof at Oita Stadium on Wednesday night.

Radradra was a menace on most occasions he ran at the Welsh defence and one rib-crunching front-on tackle on Welsh fullback Liam Williams would have been felt back in Suva where he was born.

The bearded attacker was mesmerising with his running, sudden shifts of direction, pace and ability to keep running so directly at the defence with the ball in both hands.

The great shame is that, after man-of-the-match displays against Wales and Georgia, his World Cup is over.

Fiji have failed to advance to the quarter-finals with a 1-3 win-loss record behind Wales and the Wallabies in Pool D.

 

Radradra has been one of the stars of the World Cup. Picture: AP Photo/Aaron Favila
Radradra has been one of the stars of the World Cup. Picture: AP Photo/Aaron Favila

 

They have perhaps won something bigger for the longer term. No one will dare call Fiji a Tier Two nation again because they were top class punching on equal footing against both Australia and Wales.

At 27, Radradra will have scouts from rugby's leading clubs in England and France sizing him up for huge and tempting offers when he's off-contract with French club Bordeaux in mid-2020.

He now has a gilt-edged reputation as one of the game's freak wingers for less than three weeks in the world spotlight.

 

Radradra was the NRL’s best winger. Picture: Brett Costello
Radradra was the NRL’s best winger. Picture: Brett Costello

 

NRL outfits like his old club Parramatta would be super interested too but don't have the cash to match the money that Radradra will now command as a headline star in a code he only joined two years ago.

The Fijians led 10-0 early and again 17-14 at the 57-minute mark before the gutsy and composed Welsh found a way to fend of the islanders' onslaught.

It was a terrific match of seven tries and the drama of four yellow cards. Fijian winger Josua Tuisova somehow scored early with a one-handed planting of the ball in the corner when seemingly covered while Williams only settled the result with his try at the 68-minute mark.

Fijian coach John McKee saluted Radradra's performance and the rest of his team.

 

Semi Radradra was a Dally M regular. Picture: Gregg Porteous
Semi Radradra was a Dally M regular. Picture: Gregg Porteous

 

"Semi is a world-class player and he has shown his class in this tournament. To win Player of the Match on the losing team is a big effort," McKee said.

"To take it to such a good Welsh team is credit to all of the players and the whole coaching group.

"What was pleasing was that we had an opportunity on the world stage to show what this team is capable of.

"We came here with very high aspirations and we did really want to get to the play-offs but the World Cup is a competitive environment and it's very difficult to progress from the pool stages for any team."

 

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News Corp Australia


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