The first points of the match came in the eleventh minute when Tonga’s lock-forward, Tevita Ngalumaa Oto, crossed over after a brilliant trick play at the line-out. Tonga’s right winger, Litani Pakalani, scored their second try in the twenty-first minute which was unconverted.
Fiji was awarded a penalty and finally crossed Tonga’s line with a try to flanker, Ratu Meli Derenalagi, who ran to the try line after an effective maul. The try was converted and put Fiji within 3 points of Tonga. Tonga flyhalf, Nautu’a Netane Masima, slotted over a penalty for a high tackle and was able to extend their lead to 6 points. As the half started to draw to an end, Fiji’s persistence in attacking Tonga’s line was rewarded when their halfback, Peniasi Ratu scored a sneaky try diving over the try line from the ruck. He later converted his own try to take Fiji into the lead at half time.
Fiji wasted no time in the second half and scored their first points within the first minute of the match. Outside centre, Timoci Tavanavanua, powered through three defenders and scored for Fiji extending the lead between the two teams. Both teams gave away penalties as they both struggled with the scrums. Tonga was unable to contain Fiji’s attack as a series of quick passes and offloads saw their winger, Veramu Dikidikilati, score under the posts. Fiji’s first points from the boot came from fullback, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, who was able to convert the try of Dikidikilati.
Indiscipline cost the Fijians as Flyhalf, Nautu’a Netane Masima, slotted over another penalty and reduced the margin bringing Tonga within a try of Fiji. Inspired by their captain, Tonga continued to pick away at Fiji who gave away a series of scrum penalties which led to a try under the post for Tonga’s outside centre, Tevita Kavafonoatu Tai and converted by flyhalf, Nautu’a Netane Masima.
Although both matches in the tournament ended in a draw, Fiji qualified with most competition points from a four try bonus point earned after scoring 4 tries in today’s match.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
11 min: Tevita Ngalumaa Oto try FIJI 0 – 5 TONGA
21 min: Litani Pakalani try FIJI 0 – 10 TONGA
29 min: Ratu Meli Derenalagi try FIJI 5 – 10 TONGA
31 min: Peniasi Ratu con FIJI 7 – 10 TONGA
32 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 7 – 13 TONGA
40 min: Peniasi Ratu try FIJI 12 – 13 TONGA
41 min: Peniasi Ratu con FIJI 14 – 13 TONGA
42 min: Timoci Tavanavanua try FIJI 19 – 13 TONGA
52 min: Veramu Dikidikilati try FIJI 24 – 13 TONGA
53 min: Tuidraki Samusamuvodre con FIJI 26 – 13 TONGA
54 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 26 – 16 TONGA
61 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 26 – 19 TONGA
80 min: Tevita Kavafonoatu Tai try FIJI 26 – 24 TONGA
81 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima con FIJI 26 – 26 TONGA
FIJI 26 (TRIES: Ratu Meli Derenalagi, Peniasi Ratu, Timoci Tavanavanua, Veramu DIkidikilati | CON: Peniasi Ratu (2), Tuidraki Samusamu Vodre)
TONGA 26 (TRIES: Tevita Ngalumaa Ota, Tevita Kavafonuatu Tai, Litani Pakalani | CON: Nautu’a Netane Masima| PEN: Alipate Valentin Tuipolotu, Nautu’a Netane Masima (2))
Referee: Alan Aiolupotea (Samoa)
Assistant Referees: Fa’avae Neru (Samoa) and Lote Saudranu (Fiji)