There were plenty of players putting up their hand this week which made a few selections difficult, but here’s the best of Pacific Challenge Round 3.
2 – Sireli Ledua (Fiji) Had a couple skew lineout throws but made up for it with terrific ball carrying and good work in the scrum. Beats out top competition from Ray Barkwill and Semiperive Semeane.
3 – Jake Ilnicki (Canada) An impressive full 80 minutes in the searing heat. Didn’t give an inch in the scrum and a constant presence in the tight-loose.
4 – Mataiasi Ucutabua (Fiji) Another week, another impressive Fijian lock. Prominent in the lineout and a wrecking ball in the loose, including a very nicely taken try.
5 – Evan Olmstead (Canada) Massive work rate around the pitch. Put constant pressure on the Pampas and contributed heavily in close quarters.
6 – Pablo Matera (Argentina) A monstrous effort in a man-of-the-match performance. Won turnovers, made huge tackles, and scored a long-range breakaway try. Immense.
7 – John Moonlight (Canada) Close call over Oneone Fa’afou, but the inspirational Canadian can’t be ignored. All over the pitch winning lineouts, stealing ball, and supporting everything.
8 – Facundo Isa (Argentina) Physically dominant at every contact situation. Played right on the edge and probably deserved a yellow card earlier, but kept his side in the game.
9 – Serupepeli Vularika (Fiji) Another brilliant game for the lightning-quick halfback. A personal haul of 15 points and created many more.
10 – Ryuji Noguchi (Japan) Skillful playmaker that forced his way into the side with another eye-catching display. Took on the line with reckless abandon and led his side to their best performance of the tournament.
11 – Manuel Montero (Argentina) Ran riot every time he touched the ball, setting up two tries and nearly scoring himself on numerous occasions. Came off his wing often with devastating effect.
12 – Eroni Vasiteri (Fiji) A compact, powerful runner with a deceiving step. Carved up the Tongan midfield and put Isoa Donaldson away with a brilliant offload.
13 – Ata’ata Moeakiola (Japan) Good games from Ciaran Hearn and Josua Kerevi, but the young juggernaut cannot be denied. Powered over for 2 tries in an incredible 30 minute international debut and looked unstoppable on the charge.
14 – Conor Trainor (Canada) Set up Jones’ opening score with a step and an offload, and used good strength to finish his own later. Had problems dealing with Montero but wasn’t alone.
15 – Santiago Cordero (Argentina) Cut the Canadian defense to ribbons whenever he touched the ball. His kick and regather to score was a thing of beauty.