Oceania under 19s championship- Fiji take Tonga

try time for the hooker. photo Zoomfiji

try time for the hooker. photo Zoomfiji

Tonga straight ahead. photo Zoomfiji

Tonga straight ahead. photo Zoomfiji

Fiji secure good ball. photo Zoomfiji

Fiji secure good ball. photo Zoomfiji

September 09, 2008 - 9:58pm

Fiji have won 8-0 in a tight tussle against Tonga to clinch a victory in the last pool match of the Oceania under 19s championship. This will give them great confidence as they head into the final in 3 days time.

Showing great composure and patience Fiji dominated the first 20 mins of the match, they played with precision and power to stay in Tonga territory. This attack was greeted with a stiff Tongan wall of D & it was the big men in the forwards that put in some beastly hits to stop runners in their tracks. This Fiji pressure was not rewarded with points and slowly Tonga twisted out of trouble and found themselves applying some heat on Fiji's line.

Tonga missed chances to score and the match was pulsating and sea sawing from one end to the other as they went at each other. It was locked up at nil all at half time and Tonga went into the break with a very dangerous looking inside back-line & Fiji started to look good in the pack.

All this muscle and bashing also meant some niggle, finger pointing and general un-disciplined play snuck into the match. It was short lived though as the intensity and nervous closeness of the game made sure everyone had to be on target.

It was in the 63rd minute before the deadlock was broken, Fiji was attacking the line and the halfback grabbed the ball and delivered a perfect trickery act inside pass to send his hooker crashing over for a try. This try went through the heart of the Tongan forward pack and ended up being the killer blow to seal this win.

Tonga went on the rampage, throwing everything at Fiji but to the hosts credit they stood firm and help them out. Again some rough stuff came into the game and cards were dished out, some yellow and later a red card for Fiji's hard working number 8.

Fiji now head into the final on Friday on a high, as fate has it they will meet Tonga again in the final. This match was a fierce one, they have now sized each other up and the final will add a bit more pressure and intensity as it is the end and the big match. Both these teams deserve to be there as they have played the best footy of the teams. Come friday we will see which one of these teams wants the win the most.

For now Fiji will be happy, their boys walked off the field and were greeted with pats on the back, hugs and kisses from happy families and friends and they will sleep well knowing they are playing very well. Tonga will not rest so easy, they will brew on some things and no doubt coach Isatola Maka will have them primed come final time.