Tonga beat Fiji 45-21 in PNC Rd 1
02 July, 2011
|Tonga defeat Fiji 45-21 |
Saturday, 2 July 2011 Churchill Park, Lautoka
Fiji 21 (9)
Tries: Sokonaia Kalou, Malakai Ravulo Con: Nicky Little Pen: Nicky Little (3) Tonga 45 (23)
Tries: Samu Vahafolau, Alaska Taufa, Penalty Try, Viliame Iongi, Alisona Taumaloi Con: Kurt Morath (4) Pen: Kurt Morath (4) Referee: Marius Jonker
Kick Off: 3:10 PM
Conditions: Sunny and breezy
Well the Tongans came, saw and conquered on an exquisite afternoon in Fiji’s second city – Lautoka – disposing of the Flying Fijians by five tries to two, winning 45-21. In fact Fiji struggled all afternoon against a vigorous Tonga team ably led by captain and flanker Samiu Vahafolau.
Veteran flyhalf Nicky Little got the scoreboard ticking in the 3rd minute with an early penalty. Tonga though responded in emphatic fashion when the impressive Vahafolau charged through the Fiji 22 to score by the posts.
Tonga flyhalf Kurt Morath made no mistake with the conversion. In fact it was Morath’s kicking and general all round play that helped the Tongans dominate Fiji. Time and again Morath’s tactical kicking kept Fiji pinned in their own half.
Two Morath penalties and a second from Little had Tonga in the ascendancy by 13-7 before centre Alaska Taufa finished off a backline move, from an attacking line, out to score in the near corner. Morath made no mistake from the corner.
As half-time approached Little and Morath again traded penalties as Tonga went to the breather 23-9 to the good.
Tonga started the second half in determined fashion with Vungakoto Lilo almost out pacing Timoci Nagusa before being dragged into touch five metres from Fiji’s goal line.
Lilo’s efforts weren’t in vain though as two minutes later South African referee Marius Jonker awarded Tonga the penalty try. With Morath slotting the conversion Tonga took an ominous 21 point lead. A fourth Morath penalty in the 50th minute increased Tonga’s lead to 33-9 and more or less put the visitors out of sight.
In the 59th minute Fiji finally sprung to life as Vereniki Goneva broke away from his own goal line with Talemaitoga Tuapati in support and lock Sokonaia Kaloou scoring a wonderful length of the field try.
A second try by Malakai Ravulo in the 66th minute gave Fiji a glimmer of hope however two late tries from Tonga soon extinguished any hope of a Fiji comeback.
Tonga’s win the first in the Pacific Nations Cup in two years.
Next up for Fiji are defending PNC champions Samoa in Suva next Saturday. FIJI
1. Graham Dewes, 2. Viliame Veikoso, 3. Deacon Manu (c), 4. Sokonaia Kalou, 5. Tevita Cavubati, 6. Josefa Domolailai, 7. Malakai Ravulo, 8. Domoniko Waqaniburotu, 9. Nemia Ranuku, 10. Nicky Little, 11. Timoci Nagusa, 12. Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 13. Albert Vulivuli, 14. Vereniki Goneva, 15. Kini Murimurivalu RESERVES 16. Talemaitoga Tuapati, 17. Penijamini Makutu, 18. Leone Nakarawa, 19. Malakai Volau, 20. Vitori Buatava, 21. Waisea Luveniyali, 22. Adriu Delai
1. Alisona Taumalol, 2. Ephraim Taukafa, 3. Tonga Leaaetoa, 4. Tukulua Lokotui, 5. Paiono Hehea, 6. Lisiate Vaaoso, 7. Samiu Vahafolau (c), 8. Sione Kalamafoni, 9. Samisoni Fisilau, 10. Kurt Morath, 11. Viliame Iongi, 12. Andrew Mailei, 13. Alaska Taufa, 14. Viliami Helu, 15. Vungakoto Lilo RESERVES 16. Semisi Telefoni, 17. Sione Vaimounga, 18. Joe Tuineau, 19. Tevita Ula, 20. Soana Havea, 21. Hudson Tongauiha, 22. Mateo Malupo