A strong and impressive first half performance from the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians stunned the Wallabies this evening but it was not enough to earn them a victory as they went down 39-21 at Sapporo Dome in Japan.
Fiji led on the scoreboard for most of the match and even delivered a 14-12 lead at halftime.
Fiji had 68 percent of the possession in the first half.
A yellow card to centre Levani Botia in the 61st minute affected the outcome of the match.
There were impressive individual performances from the Flying Fijians across the park as players such as Peceli Yato, Josua Tuisova, Semi Radradra, Frank Lomani and Waisea Nayacalevu stood out.
The first points on the board by the Flying Fijians came from Flyhalf Ben Volavola through a penalty kick in the 4th minute.
Fiji’s first try was scored by Peceli Yato in the 7th minute.
Yato’s try was the result of great team work through open play as Josua Tuisova broke through the defence and kept the ball moving to Yato who managed to score in the corner.
The Wallabies first points on the board came from Captain Michael Hooper who scored in the 17th minute.
This was followed by two successful penalties by Volavola.
Wallabies wing, Reece Hodge scored their second try in the 35th minute.
Fiji opened the second half strongly as Waisea Nayacalevu scored a try in the 43rd minute.
Nayacalevu intercepted a pass and ran more than 50 metres to score under the posts.
This was then followed by four tries and one penalty for the Wallabies.
Wallabies centre and Vice Captain, Samu Kerevi and wing Marika Koroibete scored a try each.
Kerevi is the first Fijian born player to score a try against Fiji at the Rugby World Cup.
Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu scored two tries in the match.
He was also awarded man of the match.
The Flying Fijians have only beaten the Wallabies twice.
The first win was in 1952 where Fiji won 17 15 while the other was a 18 16 victory in 1954.
Flying Fijians Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu says they cannot blame anyone for their loss and now need to move on and focus on their next game.
Coach John McKee says they made some simple mistakes in the game.
The Flying Fijians next match is against Uruguay at 5.15pm on Wednesday.
In other matches, France and Argentina face off at 7.15 tonight while the All Blacks and Springboks clash at 9.45 tonight.
Italy will play Namibia at 5.15pm tomorrow, Ireland and Scotland face off at 7.45pm tomorrow while England clash with Tonga at 10.15pm tomorrow.
|PLAY BY PLAY|
|Turnover to Fiji at the Wallabies 10m line. Ben Volavola kicks a beautiful penalty to put Fiji into the lead!||3'|
|Josua Tuisova runs through the defense and beautiful hands finds the ball moving to Peceli Yato who scores for FIJI!!!!!! Conversion unsuccessful.||7'|
|17'||Michael Hooper gets the Wallabies onto the scoreboard. Conversion is good.|
|Penalty to Fiji. Ben Volavola slots it through and takes Fiji a little higher up the scoreboard.||22'|
|Fiji's defense gets them a 22m scrum but at the cost of Peceli Yato being taken out for a head injury assessment. Mosese Voka comes in to take his place.||25'|
|Ben Volavola puts in another penalty that on TV looked like he missed for a moment||30'|
|35'||Reece Hodge gets one in the corner after phase after phase of Wallaby forward play. Conversion misses. Fiji stays in the lead.|
|Interception by Waisea Nayacalevu lets him run straight down the middle of the ground to get Fiji their first points of the second half. Conversion is good!||43'|
|50'||Reece Hodge slots in his first penalty of the afternoon giving the Wallabies 3 more points on the board.|
|56'||Tolu Latu crosses the line after the Fijian defence could not stop the Wallabies maul. Conversion misses and Fiji keeps a narrow lead.|
|Botia sent off with a yellow card||61'||Fiji's defence against the maul lets them down yet again and Tolu Latu crosses over for another try. Conversion misses.|
|68'||Samu Kerevi scores on for the Wallabies extending their lead. Conversion is good.|
|Levani Botia comes back onto the ground after his yellow card||70'|
|72'||Marika Koroibete gets one for himself. Conversion is good.|