April 15, 2018
Outstanding playmaker Amenoni Nasilasila scored an extra time try to beat South Africa 24-19 and seal Fiji’s spot in the gold medal final of the 2018 Commonwealth Games today in Gold Coast, Australia.
As expected, the semi-final clash between the two of the finest teams on the World Sevens Series went to the wire with the Fijians holding their nerves to snatch the winner in the first spell of extra time.
Fiji started the match well and scored early through winger Eroni Sau who intercepted a South African pass and sprinted all the way to the try-line. A successful conversion by Nasilasila put Fiji up by 7-0.
Captain Jerry Tuwai raced away and scored in the corner just before halftime to give Fiji a 12-0 lead at the break.
A kick and chase effort from the Fijians saw Sau winning the ball and feeding it off to Sevuloni Mocenacagi to touch down for the third try. A successful conversion further increased Fiji’s tally to 19-0.
South Africa replied in style and scored a double through Rosco Specman and one from Captain Phillip Syman to tie up the match as Cecil Afrika superbly converted the third try.
The Africans won the toss and kicked off extra time but the Fijians claimed the ball and ran it out wide beautifully. After a couple of tackle fend-off, Fiji managed to spread the ball on the right and Nasilasila got in the clear and beat Afrika to the try-line.
Fiji will face New Zealand in the gold medal final at 5.04pm.
The Kiwis defeated England 17-12 in their gold medal semi-final match.
By Reginald Chandar