Fiji lose to Pumas, face NZ in quarterfinals

February 25, 2024 11:21 am

The Fiji Airways Fiji men’s side lost its final pool of the Vancouver 7s, going down to Argentina 24-19 in a gritty battle to setup a quarterfinal showdown against New Zealand.

The Napolioni Bolaca-led side found themselves on the back foot from the opening whistle as the Pumas raced to an early 10-0 lead.

Fiji replied with a try to Josese Batirerega as they trailed the World Series leaders 7-10.

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The national side was then reduced to six men before the halftime siren when forward Josese Talacolo was sent to the sin-bin for tackling an Argentinean player in the air.

Argentina scored a try from the kick-off in the second spell to extend its lead to 17-7.

Jerry Matana then scored a try from a break made by rover Kaminieli Rasaku as Fiji closed the gap to 12-17.

Argentina then scored another try following continuous pressure to extend its lead to 24-12.

A brilliant individual try by replacement halfback Pilipo Bukayaro from the back of the scrum saw Fiji inch closer with a 19-24 scoreline.

With one minute remaining on the clock, Fiji tried hard to win but Argentina’s defence held on to close out the match and secure the top spot in their pool

Fiji will now take on New Zealand in the cup quarterfinals at 3:06 pm today.

In other quarterfinal matches, the USA will face Great Britain, Samoa will take on Argentina and France will battle Ireland.