Satala grabs brace as Fiji triumph at Teufaiva
By Vela Naucukidi
The Vodafone Fiji 15s put on another awesome display to defeat hosts Tonga 47-22 at Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku’alofa on Friday.
Vili Satala, back after missing last weekend’s win in Samoa, set up Epeli Ruivadra on the wing for the opening try in the fourth minute, then scored a brace of tries himself to give Fiji an astonishing 27-0 lead in the opening half hour.
Nicky Little had an outstanding day with the boot, converting all five of Fiji’s tries and adding four penalty goals. Satala stood out with his unique tackling and attacking style, and Sisa Koyamaibole looked confident at the back of the scrum.
Fiji brushed up on their set pieces from their victory over Samoa five days ago and saw a big change in the line-outs. Improvements all-round led to minimal mistakes and kept Fiji on the attack throughout most of the match.
Tonga came back just before the break to score two tries before the break from overlaps with gaps in the Fiji defence. Ma’afu Pale, who came in as a replacement at left wing, scored the first and right wing Fepikou Tatafu added the second.
Fly-half Pierre Hola kicked both conversions to leave his side trailing 27-14 at the break.
In the second spell, Tonga regrouped. Within three minutes, Fiji were penalised for off-side and Hola added a penalty to narrow the score.
But on the hour, Isaac Mow made an important interception and raced away to score under the posts to give Fiji a cushion.
Ifereimi Rawaqa came in for Timoci Yacabula, while Seta Tawake replaced Alifereti Mocelutu to add some fresh legs to the forwards.
In the 63rd minute, Tonga’s Andrew Mailei scored the hosts’ third try, but Fiji halfback Jacob Rauluni replied in kind two minutes later.