Flying Fijians have inched closer to the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal after edging and tough Georgia by 17-12 in their third pool match in Bordeaux.
Georgia made a flying start and led 9-nil at the break. Flying Fijians applied pressure but were not able to cross the line for any points in the first 40 minutes.
Flying Fijians skipper Waisea Nayacalevu found the way in the 51st minute. After a few quick passes, Nayacalevu divided in the corner for Fiji’s first try. Replacement half-back Frank Lomani added the two extra points.
Less than five minutes later, a Vinaya Habosi try put the game out of reach for Georgia, despite a last-minute penalty in the final seconds.
Levani Botia, the Mastercard Player of the Match, said: “So proud of the boys, I think we struggled in the first half. We gave away opportunities but we came back in the second half.”
Head Coach Simon Raiwalui admitted his side had struggled against Georgia in the opening half, saying: “Congratulations to Georgia, if I am being honest we were beaten to the punch in the first half. We knew it was going to be a battle. I am just thankful we have the result.”
Captain Waisea Nayacalevu praised his side’s fighting spirit, adding: “What a game! I’m pretty exhausted. Shout out to Georgia for a tough game today.
“I am proud of the boys, what a team effort today, we didn’t slack off, we kept fighting. I told the boys we have to keep fighting. For the record, we want to be a history-making team and that is our goal.”
Flying Fijian take on Portugal in their final Rugby World Cup pool match at 7.15am FJT next Monday.