Planet Rugby

Fiji lift Pacific Nations Cup title

23rd June 2013 10:25

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fiji pacific nations cup

Champions: Fiji

Fiji clinched their first Pacific Nations Cup title with a 34-21 victory over Tonga in Tokyo on Sunday.

Their third victory out of four matches saw Fiji win the tournament for the first time, having finished as runners-up on three occasions since the competition began in 2006.

Tonga took an early 11-0 lead at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo with scrum-half Thomas Palu slotting two penalties and right wing Fraser Anderson scoring a try near the left corner in the fifth minute.

Fiji left wing Sireli Bobo hit back with a solo try in the 23rd minute and Seremaia Bai converted to reduce the deficit to four points.

After Palu missed two penalty attempts for Tonga, Fiji finally got in front in the 33rd minute when wing Napolioni Nalaga received a pass from Saula Radidi near the right corner. Bai made it 14-11 with the conversion.

Palu made it 14-14 at half-time with his fourth successful shot at goal though he struck the left upright when awarded a chance to regain the lead with another penalty early in the second half.

Fiji threatened the Tongan goal line several times and their efforts were rewarded by Bai's penalty in the 55th minute for a 17-14 lead.

In the 62nd minute, centre Nemani Nadolo completed a passing play for a try near the post with Bai converting it to stretch the lead to 24-14.

Nalaga scored his second try five minutes later, again converted by Bai, and at 31-14 Fiji had breathing space added to by a further Bai penalty.

Tonga gained some consolation when prop Taione Vea scored a converted try shortly before the end.

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