Fiji U20s humble Wales 34-20
23 June, 2011
|Fiji outside centre Semi Radradra gets his pass away before being tackled in the 5th Place Semi Final against Wales on Wednesday at the Stadio Plebiscito in Padova. Photo: Getty Images. |
Fiji are guaranteed their best ever placing in an IRB Junior World Championship after beating Wales 34-20 in their fifth place semi final at the Stadio Plebiscito in Padova, avenging two defeats by the same side in last year’s tournament.
Both sides scored three tries, but Josateki Lalagavesi’s more accurate kicking in front of the posts proved the difference, the wing slotting five of seven penalty attempts and two conversions through the posts.
This was in contrast to Wales fly half Matthew Morgan, a standout player for the Welsh in this tournament, who missed his first two penalties and converted only one of their three tries, scored by Dale Ford, Rhodri Jones and Steve Shingler.
Fiji captain Solomoni Rasolea was understandably delighted with the result:
“It bloody feels good [to have recorded Fiji’s best finish at a JWC]. Our coaches and manager were kissing us all around. It does bring a big smile to me, being captain and leading these boys and rising in position at the Junior World Championship.”
Full back Metuisela Telebula, who has caught the eye for Fiji on the HSBC Sevens World Series this season, was an influential figure for the Pacific Islanders, scoring a try in each half and running hard at the Welsh defence until the final whistle.
Replacement Eliki Sicinilawa made the game safe for the Fijians with a 74th minute try.
Wales’s team manager Mark Taylor was bitterly disappointed with his team’s performance:
“Right from the off we were making mistakes, we weren’t following the game plan that we expected. We had a big loss against New Zealand and we thought we were back on the right track against Italy. We’re very disappointed. This is not the result we wanted or expected in any way, shape or form. We’ve got to put our heads down now and work very hard.
"We know we’re going to be in for an awful lot of flak, an awful lot of criticism from back home and after today it’s fully justified. We’ve got to look inwards and put it right. We’ve got it wrong on and off the field as a group. We’ve just got to look at ourselves and not look for excuses.”
Fiji can now look forward to a fifth place play-off on Sunday against South Africa who thrashed Ireland 57-15. Full results from Game Day Four:
9th Place Semi Final
Scotland 30-11 Tonga
Argentina 12-8 Italy 5th Place Semi Final
Wales 20-34 Fiji
South Africa 57-15 Ireland Semi Finals
New Zealand 37-7 Australia Article courtesy of irb.com.
View photos of the Fiji U20 team at the JWC