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Matty’s On the Five is our weekly sports wrap highlighting five of the biggest sporting moments in Pacific sports as determined by Matt Manukuo.


Matty’s On the Five: Pacific-first at Supercars but mixed weekend for Fiji rugby fans

Matty’s On the Five is our weekly sports wrap highlighting five of the biggest sporting moments in Pacific sports as determined by Matt Manukuo.

It was a bumpy ride this weekend in sports, but the overall highlight was seeing the first ever V8 Supercar driver of Pacific heritage taking part in the Taupo 400 - how good!

1. Jaxon Evans places 10th at Supercars Taupo 400

A unique story this one! Jaxon Evans of Fijian-Rotuman descent became the first ever driver of Pacific heritage to compete in the V8 Supercars competition.

Evans started his career in Australia racing in go-karts, and eventually made his way as professional driver competing around the world before earning a spot as a professional driver for Porsche.

What makes Evans’ rise even more remarkable is his unique backstory. He was adopted at birth from his Fijian-Rotuma-Pakeha birth parents by y a family of avid motor racing enthusiasts in Levin. His parents, John and Deb, have also adopted two other children who have both gone on to achieved highly in sports. His brother Joshua, who is of Fijian descent, has played for the under 20s Crusaders side, while his sister Molly, has represented Samoa in volleyball.

Evans finished 10th at the Supercars Taupo 400 at the weekend, his first top 10 finish in the Supercars championship competition. It was also the first time the competition was held in Taupo, and the first time in many years that Evans has raced in New Zealand.

2. Blues smash the Brumbies

Despite it being a top of the table clash, the game between the Blues and Brumbies ended in a thrashing, with the home side running away with the win 46 - 7. Both sides were sitting with 27 competition points, as both sides have only suffered one loss.

Fijian powerhouse Hoskins Sotutu starred in the first half, scoring two tries, and repeatedly powering through the Brumbies line. Caleb Clarke also crossed the line, throwing himself at the Brumbies defence close to the tryline scoring an emphatic try.

The Blues led at the break 24 nil, and out of the break, scored early following a lineout close to the Brumbies line. The home side looked quick and powerful using each attacking possession skillfully, making their way down the field with ease.

The Blues would score another two tries before Luke Reimer from the Brumbies scored their first try. In the closing minutes Kurt Eklund finished a tough onslaught from the Blues hammering the Brumbies defence and scored to close the game.

3. Fijiana Drua head to third straight Super W final

The Fijiana Drua have secured another Super W final berth, after beating the Western Force women 25 - 14 in front of a sold-out crowd in Suva.

It was a close match in the opening half, both sides showing strong intent on both sides of the field, with the Force led Fijiana 11 to 10 at half-time.

The Fijiana showed shades of authentic Fijian style of rugby, throwing the ball around and producing breaks through good footwork and speed. The scores were locked 18 to 14 until the final minute, when the ball was swung to fullback Atelaite Buna who went the length of the field to complete her hattrick.

The Fijiana Drua will now face the Waratahs’ women in Brisbane this Sunday, for a chance at taking home their third title.

4. Fiji Drua lose to Hurricanes

The men’s side weren’t able to give the home fans another win, suffering their second-straight defeat against the Hurricanes losing 38 -15 in Suva.

The Drua were missing suspended Frank Lomani and inserted Simione Kuruvoli in his place at 9. The Hurricanes were quick to shift the ball, finding space on the left edge where Rayasi chipped the ball to Proctor who scored the first try.

The Drua responded quickly with Iosefo Masi breaking through the Hurricanes line and offloading to Isikeli Rabitu to score in front of an eruption of cheers. The Hurricanes would score twice before the half closed.

Both teams scored in the opening of the second half, settling into a tight tussle. A penalty would bring the Drua close to taking the lead, but they would give away a penalty and a try in the 80th minute, sealing the win for the Canes.

5.Warriors look helpless against firing Dragons side

The Warriors looked helpless against the Dragons, who produced a brilliant 80 minute performance at home - winning 30 - 12. The Warriors looked sharp in the opening minutes of the match, as Shaun Johnson strollled over for a try.

But then the Dragons turned up the heat, scoring a series of unanswered tries to halt the Warriors momentum. Before the end of the half, Zac Lomax shot a two point field goal to edge the Dragons further ahead.

By the second half, the Warriors looked flat, failing to put pressure on the Dragons defence. However Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was still able to cross over in the back-end of the game following a silky backline play from the Warriors.

The Warriors completion rate was also their detriment, with a few crucial errors putting the Dragons in good field possession throughout game. The Wahs will now face the Gold Coast Titans in what will be only their second ever home Anzac match this Thursday,

Matty’s Golden Point

Matty’s Golden Point is a point of advice shared every week on his segment "Overtime with Matty" on the Pacific Grandstand Show on 531pi.

“Nothing external can defeat the internal, the only thing that can take you down or break you down is internal. Nothing external is strong enough, it’s about making sure your internal dialogue and internal belief in yourself is strong enough to withstand the external.

The external is there, you’ve got to embrace it, you’ve got to understand it and learn from it but don’t let it seep into your internal dialogue.”

The ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor