June 09, 2018
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Fiji overcomes Samoa in tough PNC opener

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians defeated Samoa 24-22 in their opening match of the 2018 Pacific Nations Cup at the ANZ Stadium in Suva today.

The Akapusi Qera skippered side played with a lot of determination and focus and managed to overcome a tough Samoan challenge in the second half.

Samoa scored the first points of the match from a penalty.

The hosts despite losing Captain Akapusi Qera and Jale Vatubua to the sin-bin for dangerous tackles managed to hit back and score three unanswered tries through Kini Murimurivalu, Ben Volavola and Henry Seniloli to lead 17-3 at halftime.

Veteran winger Vereniki Goneva Fiji’s fourth try early in the second half before the Samoans staged a strong comeback to score three tries through halfback Metani Matavao, flanker Jack Lam and centre Alipati Leiua and make the last five minutes of the match a nail-biter.

The Fijians managed to keep possession and surged forward through an attacking scrum but persistent defence from the Samoans kept the scores unchanged at fulltime.

Fiji plays Georgia in its next match at 3.30pm on Saturday while Samoa will battle against Tonga at 1pm.

By Reginald Chandar

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