Fiji have qualified to the 2018 World Rugby U20 Trophy and Oceania Rugby U20 Championship after a tight 2017 Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy in Lautoka this past week. The Trophy saw 2 drawn matches between Tonga and Fiji.
For details of the first match click here
Tonga U20s Team pre match
The second match saw plenty of action with the first points of the match coming in the eleventh minute when Tonga’s lock-forward, Tevita Ngalumaa Oto, crossed over after a brilliant trick play at the line-out. Tonga’s right winger, Litani Pakalani, scored their second try in the twenty-first minute which was unconverted.
Fiji was awarded a penalty and finally crossed Tonga’s line with a try to flanker, Ratu Meli Derenalagi, who ran to the try line after an effective maul. The try was converted and put Fiji within 3 points of Tonga. Tonga flyhalf, Nautu’a Netane Masima, slotted over a penalty for a high tackle and was able to extend their lead to 6 points. As the half started to draw to an end, Fiji’s persistence in attacking Tonga’s line was rewarded when their halfback, Peniasi Ratu scored a sneaky try diving over the try line from the ruck. He later converted his own try to take Fiji into the lead at half time.
Fiji push towards their second try in the first half
Fiji wasted no time in the second half and scored their first points within the first minute of the match. Outside centre, Timoci Tavanavanua, powered through three defenders and scored for Fiji extending the lead between the two teams. Both teams gave away penalties as they both struggled with the scrums. Tonga was unable to contain Fiji’s attack as a series of quick passes and offloads saw their winger, Veramu Dikidikilati, score under the posts. Fiji’s first points from the boot came from fullback, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, who was able to convert the try of Dikidikilati. Indiscipline cost the Fijians as Flyhalf, Nautu’a Netane Masima, slotted over another penalty and reduced the margin bringing Tonga within a try of Fiji. Inspired by their captain, Tonga continued to pick away at Fiji who gave away a series of scrum penalties which led to a try under the post for Tonga’s outside centre, Tevita Kavafonoatu Tai and converted by flyhalf, Nautu’a Netane Masima. Although both matches in the tournament ended in a draw, Fiji qualified with most competition points from a four try bonus point earned after scoring 4 tries in today's match.
Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto, Fiji Co Captain receiving the Oceania Rugby U20s Trophy from Wayne Schuster of Oceania Rugby
HOW IT HAPPENED: 11 min: Tevita Ngalumaa Oto try FIJI 0 – 5 TONGA 21 min: Litani Pakalani try FIJI 0 – 10 TONGA 29 min: Ratu Meli Derenalagi try FIJI 5 – 10 TONGA 31 min: Peniasi Ratu con FIJI 7 – 10 TONGA 32 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 7 – 13 TONGA 40 min: Peniasi Ratu try FIJI 12 – 13 TONGA 41 min: Peniasi Ratu con FIJI 14 – 13 TONGA HALF TIME 42 min: Timoci Tavanavanua try FIJI 19 – 13 TONGA 52 min: Veramu Dikidikilati try FIJI 24 – 13 TONGA 53 min: Tuidraki Samusamuvodre con FIJI 26 – 13 TONGA 54 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 26 – 16 TONGA 61 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima pen FIJI 26 – 19 TONGA 80 min: Tevita Kavafonoatu Tai try FIJI 26 – 24 TONGA 81 min: Nautu’a Netane Masima con FIJI 26 – 26 TONGA