A successful penalty by Nautu’a Masima in the opening minute gave Tonga an early lead against Fiji in today’s first match of the 2017 Oceania Rugby U20s Trophy at Churchill Park. Nautu’a Masima was again successful with a second to extend the lead in the 22nd minute 0-6. With loose carries and frustrating turnovers during the first hald, the Vodafone Fiji U20 team finally scored two quick tries through Apisalome Boginidrau and Poniani Batiniu to take the lead. At the stroke of half time, Fiji conceded another soft penalty which saw Masima add another three to his tally and bring his team within range. Fiji went into the half time break with a 3 point lead of 12-9. Early into the second half, Tonga slotted another two successful penalty, to take the lead, through their fly half Masima as Fiji struggled with their discipline. Tonga conceded their first penalty allowing Fiji fly half Tuidraki Samusamuvodre to draw the scores even with Tonga at 15 points all.
With an exchange of penalties and great defence, neither team was unable to get the upper hand. Both teams will be out to make an early statement in the final match on Saturday to claim the Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy Title and gain qualification to the 2018 World Rugby Trophy Tonga Coach Ta’one Bloomfield said that they were aiming to win but a draw was a good result today. “We’ll still need to work on Saturday’s game and hopefully we will come with a good result.” Bloomfield added. As a curtain raiser to the main match today, 16 Girls Teams representing different Fijian provinces competed in a 7s Competition in both U14 & U16 with the Under 14 Grade using the “play” stage of Get into Rugby with the “non-contact” version of the code and the introduction of line outs and scums. There was a total of 24 games played for the pool matches and the finals will be held before Game 2 of the Oceania Rugby Trophy on Saturday 02 December, 2017. HOW IT HAPPENED: 1 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 0 – 3 TONGA 22 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 0 – 6 TONGA 33 min: Apisalome Boginidrau try FIJI 5 – 6 TONGA 37 min: Poniani Batiniu try Tuidraki Samusamuvodre con FIJI 12 – 6 TONGA 41 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 12 – 9 TONGA HALF TIME 52 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 12 – 12 TONGA 62 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 12 – 15 TONGA 69 min: Tuidraki Samusamuvodre pen FIJI 15 – 15 TONGA