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Winning kick

Emoni Narawa
Monday, May 19, 2014

ENGLAND bound Seremaia Bai kicked a rare drop goal in extra time to boot his Castres rugby club into the final of the French Top 14 rugby competition at the end of the month.

Bai who is playing his final season for the French club before joining English powerhouse Leicester Tigers came in as a substitute to help his side beat Montpellier 22-19 in a tight semi-final affair at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lillie.

Both teams were locked at 19-all at fulltime when Bai nailed the drop goal towards the end of the first half of extra time, setting up the defending champions for a repeat of last year's final showdown with Toulon at Stade de France in Paris. Toulon beat Racing Metro 16-6 in the other semi-final.

Last year, the veteran utility back helped Castres win its first ever Top 14 title after 20 years.

Bai will not be part of the John McKee-coached national 15s rugby team at the upcoming June Test series.

Fiji Rugby Union development officer Alifereti Mocelutu said Bai's experience had kept him going during pressure games.

"Yes that is an achievement from a Fijian player," Mocelutu said.

"Bai is a very experienced player and it is his experience that is keeping him going in his career. He knows what to do during pressure games because he has experience.

"He is also playing his final season with Castres, so I believe he wants to repay them for everything they had done to him."

Both teams scored a try each but it was the boots of scrumhalf Rory Kockott and Bai that propelled the defending champions to a step away from retaining the title.

Flying Fijian winger Timoci Nagusa started on the right wing for Montpellier. Nagusa is part of the 39-member Flying Fijians squad to play next month's Tests.

Mocelutu said Bai would be available for the Northern Tour.

"We tried to bring Bai for the June matches but he is preparing to join his new club in England so he is going to be available for the November tour."

The local-based Flying Fijians will march into camp today.

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