Fiji’s World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup campaign is off to a perfect start after defeating the Manu Samoa yesterday in Suva.
The Fiji defeated the Manu Samoa with 26-16 at full-time.
With the additional motivation of Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification places available to the top two teams in the Pacific Nations Cup over a two-year period, the action was always going to be compelling and the teams did not disappoint.
The game was a tough one between the two determined and physically strong teams. The action was as hot as the weather with both teams throwing caution to the wind in the opening exchanges.
There was an uproar from the crowd when the host nation drew first blood through the boot of Baikeinuku for an early 3-0 lead in the first 2 minutes of the game.
This soon turned to 3-3 when Tusiata Pusi posted Manu Samoa’s first point.
On the 22nd minute of the game, Manu Samoa took the lead with another penalty conversion, 6-3.
Tusiata posted another penalty for Manu Samoa and was leading by six points on the 30th minute of the game.
On the 33rd minute of the game, Motu Matu’u, who was wearing the number 2 jersey for Manu Samoa reached the score line and had extended the gaps of the points for the two teams.
With Pisi adding the conversion for a 3-16, it looked as if a giant had awoken.
The Flying Fijians refused to lie down and they responded the best way they could with Sunia Vuli rumbling his way to the score line on the 39th minute for Fiji.
The conversion was successful and added two points for Fiji. And the half-time score was 10-16, with Manu Samoa leading.
But Fiji restored their lead with two penalty conversions after half-time and the scores were locked, 16-16.
The Flying Fijians took the lead again in the 62nd minute of the game with another penalty conversion and the score was 19-16.
In the 77th minute, Patrick Osborne landed on the Manu Samoa’s score line, to nudge his team ahead, 24-16, minutes before the whistle blows.
Seremaia Bai’s footwork added two more points for the Fiji at the 78th minute of the game with a 26-16 points.
Fiji’s 26-16 victory yesterday is their second win for their World Rugby Pacific Nation Cup Campaign.
Manu Samoa will host the Ikale Tahi from Tonga this coming weekend at the Apia Park.