Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Fiji U20 beats Tonga in opener

The Baby Flying Fijians beat Tonga 39-25 in the first round of Oceania Rugby U20s Challenge in Auckland today.

The Fijians came out with a solid attacking effort in the opening minutes, not wasting any time with an early try from flanker Ebenezer Navula.

Tonga responded with a penalty goal and showed their physicality while trying to disrupt the Fijian attack.

Fiji took over with their athleticism and running prowess, a tough task for Tonga to contain.

Their forward pack continued to lead from the front, with Number 8 Rupeni Nakiyoyo and Hooker Joshua Uluibau each scoring in the first 40 minutes.

Fiji led 29-3 at the break.

The Ikale Tahi relished the loud and proud support from their fans, making a fierce comeback in the second half that startled Fiji with three consecutive tries in the first 10 minutes.

Suddenly the score was 27-22, and the match turned into a slugfest, with either side equally capable of coming out on top.

Fiji earned a penalty and pushed the margin out to ten. They continued to chip away, applying pressure on the spirited Tongan defence.

In the end, Fiji were too good for the Ikale Tahi who went down 39-25.

Fiji Captain Nalani May told Oceania Rugby Media: “We try to keep them guessing, keep them on their heels, and play the Fijian style.”

“We definitely got caught off guard in the second half, but we just regrouped on the field, and stayed together.”

Tonga Captain Siasofi Tohi said his team is now focused on their next challenge against Samoa. “We need to improve in our contact, and we need to help the defence out, a lot to work on for Saturday’s game.”

Fiji take on Moana Pasifika in Round Two on Saturday at 3.30pm.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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