Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Fiji claims Oceania U20s Challenge title

Fiji defeated Samoa 31–17 to claim the inaugural Oceania Rugby U20s Challenge at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland last night.

Fiji scored the first try of the match two minutes after the kick-off through fullback Isikeli Basiyalo.

Number 8 Rupeni Nakiyoyo scored the second try for Fiji before Samoa answered back, with wing Panaua Niu scoring off the back of a silky kick from Captain Wally Vesi.

Fiji led 14-5 at the break.

Anare Tabakaucoro scored Fiji’s third try early in the second spell after getting a neat feed from halfback Phillip Baselala.

An intercept try from Panaua Niulevaea was the x-factor Samoa needed to bounce back.

Fiji showed why they’re dangerous, no matter who they go up against and their ability to stay composed under pressure was the difference in the end.

Fiji also combined finesse and firepower to lead them to a dominant performance against Samoa.

A rolling maul from a lineout allowed Josh Uluibau to cross over for Fiji’s fourth try before replacement prop Matai Tuisireli was sin binned for a high tackle.

Flanker Ebenezer Navula dived over for Fiji’s fifth and final try after consistent work by the forward pack.

The Fijians were further reduced to 13 players towards the end of the match when centre Sivaniolo Lumelume received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on his opposite number.

The incident also resulted in some tension and a scuffle broke out, but the match officials managed to bring the situation under control.

With two extra players on the field, the Samoans managed to score another try through Captain Vesi as the Fijians held on to record the infamous victory.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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