FIJI VS CANADA
FIJI vs CANADA
World Stage at last

Two down, one to go. That was the message from national coach Brad Johnstone after Fiji’s hard earned 38-22 win against Canada.

“Every victory is a relief for a coach,” Johnstone said, “but we came here to win three matches and the job isn’t finished yet.”

In what was the most important game for both teams in many years, Fiji overcame a nervous start to outscore the Canadians four tries to one at Stade Lescure in Bordeaux.

A drop goal in the 33rd minute from Canada’s veteran captain Gareth Rees had seen his team stretch out a 16-5 lead, but two tries in a five-minute spell before half-time swung the game for the Fijians.

“I felt like jumping off a bridge in those opening 30 minutes,” Johnstone said. “It took us a long time to get going, but we played with more structure than we did against Namibia.”

Vili Satala, who signed with French club Mont-de-Marsan four days before the match, celebrated his new contract with a brace of tries, cutting through Canada’s backline on both occasions.
Fero Lasagavibau was unlucky not to see his name on the scoresheet. He raced through for a touch down in the 35th minute, but the referee awarded a penalty try. Then deep into first-half injury time, he rounded his markers again and dived over, but referee Ed Morrison called play back and gave Fiji a penalty instead.

Fiji totally dominated the second half with Nicky Little picking up two more penalty goals, one dropped goal and a conversion to take his match total to 18 points. Marika Vunibaka scored an opportunist try in the 61st minute when he latched onto a fortunate bounce, exchanged passes with No.8 Koli Sewabu and barged through two tackles on his way to the line.

Serevi took over fullback duties from Alfred Uluinayau at half time, while Little continued as place kicker.

“Obviously, the presence of Nicky Little is very important,” Johnstone said. “He’s a 15s specialist, he grew up with the game, and things work in a more controlled fashion for us when he is on the field.”

Canada only managed six points in the second half as Fiji’s defence looked increasingly secure and won praises from the Canadian coach Pat Parfrey.

“Fiji played a modern game,” Parfrey said. “They kept putting the ball behind us, keeping the pressure on. And they had the skilful backs in reserve when they needed them.

“Fiji clearly deserved to win the game. Their skills were superior to ours.”
Fiji’s control left Rees similarly impressed.

“That was a side of Fiji rugby we haven’t seen before,” he said, adding that he thought Fiji would cause France a lot of problems.

“Fiji can beat a lot of teams. They were much more physical than we expected. We turned the screws on them for the first half hour, but they came back well and did the same to us,” he said.
Fiji have never beaten France before, yet confidence in John-stone’s camp was high, knowing that victory would secure a quarter-final berth in Dublin.

But Johnstone wasn’t about to count his chickens: “I think we’re all getting carried away if we feel that Fiji are favourites against France.

“The French have been playing wonderful rugby for many years, so we still have a big job ahead.”



Match Statistics

38 22
Fiji Canada
Tournament: Rugby World Cup
Date: Saturday 09 Oct 1999
Venue: Stade Lescure, Bordeaux Crowd: 27000
Half-time: 22-16
Fiji Game Number: 538
Fiji Test Match Number: 206

            FIJI   CANADA            
Card PTS D P C T PLAYER V PLAYER T C P D PTS Card
0 - - - - Uluinayau, Alfred 15 Scott Stewart - - - - 0
0 - - - - Lasagavibau, Fero 14 Winston Stanley - - - - 0
10 - - - 2 Satala, Viliame 13 Kyle Nichols - - - - 0
0 - - - - Sotutu, Waisake 12 S Bryan - - - - 0
5 - - - 1 Vunibaka, Marika 11 Doug Lougheed - - - - 0
18 1 3 3 - Little, Nicky 10 Gareth Rees (capt) - 1 4 1 17
0 - - - - Rauluni, Jacob 9 Mark Williams - - - - 0
0 - - - - Mocelutu, Alifereti 8 Marc Schmid - - - - 0
0 - - - - Tawake, Ifereimi 7 Dan Baugh - - - - 0
0 - - - - Tabua, Ilivasi 6 Al Charron - - - - 0
0 - - - - Katalau, Emori 5 Michael James - - - - 0
0 - - - - Raiwalui, Simon 4 John Tait - - - - 0
0 - - - - Veitayaki, Joeli 3 Jon Thiel - - - - 0
0 - - - - Smith, Greg 2 Pat Dunkley - - - - 0
0 - - - - Rouse, Daniel 1 Rod Snow - - - - 0
0 - - - - Naevo, Apenisa  
(Tabua Ilivasi )
16 Mark Cardinal - - - - 0
0 - - - - Sewabu, Koli  
(Mocelutu Alifereti )
17 Duane Majors - - - - 0
0 - - - - 18 John Hutchinson - - - - 0
0 - - - - 19 - - - - 0
0 - - - - Rauluni, Mosese  
(Rauluni Jacob )
20 - - - - 0
0 - - - - Serevi, Waisale  
(Uluinayau Alfred)
21 - - - - 0
0 - - - - 22 - - - - 0
Coach: Brad Johnstone
 

Key:
Captain Captain
Yellow Card Yellow Card
Red Card Red Card
Sub In Sub in
Sub Out Sub out
Bloodbin Bloodbin Bloodbin

Scoring Sequence

04 min - TRY for Canada by N/A 0-5
04 min - CONVERSION for Canada by Gareth Rees 0-7
14 min - PEN GOAL for Canada by Gareth Rees 0-10
17 min - TRY for Fiji by Satala, Viliame 5-10
27 min - PEN GOAL for Canada by Gareth Rees 5-13
32 min - DROP GOAL for Canada by Gareth Rees 5-16
34 min - PEN TRY for Fiji by N/A 10-16
35 min - CONVERSION for Fiji by Little, Nicky 12-16
39 min - TRY for Fiji by Satala, Viliame 17-16
40 min - CONVERSION for Fiji by Little, Nicky 19-16
40 min - PEN GOAL for Fiji by Little, Nicky 22-16
Half-Time
42 min - DROP GOAL for Fiji by Little, Nicky 25-16
47 min - PEN GOAL for Canada by Gareth Rees 25-19
61 min - TRY for Fiji by Vunibaka, Marika 30-19
62 min - CONVERSION for Fiji by Little, Nicky 32-19
65 min - PEN GOAL for Canada by Gareth Rees 32-22
69 min - PEN GOAL for Fiji by Little, Nicky 35-22
72 min - PEN GOAL for Fiji by Little, Nicky 38-22
Full-Time

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