Fiji U-20 roars to victory over Tonga

February 27, 2024 9:35 pm

[Source: Oceania Rugby]

The Fiji Under-20 side kicked off its Oceania Rugby Championships campaign with a 39-25 win over Tonga in Auckland.

Ebenezer Navula gave Fiji the lead as he scored the opening try, capitalizing on Tonga’s defensive lapse near its tryline.

Ponipate Tuberi’s successful conversion added the extra points for an early 7-0 lead.

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Fiji extended its lead further when Rupeni Nakiyoyo scored a pushover try from a scrum just five meters from the tryline.

A remarkable solo effort by Sivaniolo Lumelume, breaking through 22 meters from the scoreline led to another try as he smoothly evaded the Junior Ikale Tahi defense.

Shortly after, Avakuki Niusalelekitoga capitalized on a fumble from Tonga, who was also making a break for the tryline, cruising over for Fiji’s next try.

Fiji continued to dominate as Sikeli Basiyalo’s well-executed long-range pass set up Uluibau for another try just before halftime, extending their lead to 29-3.

Tuberi successfully converted the try, adding to Fiji’s impressive tally.

[Source: Oceania Rugby]

Tonga came out firing in the first 10 minutes of the second half with three unanswered tries to captain Siosifa Tohi scoring Tonga’s first try of the match, Paulo Afemui backed up it up with another try before Peni Taffa secured the comeback with another five points bringing the score to 29-22 and leaving the Fijians stunned by Tonga’s turnaround.

Fiji increased their lead to 32-22 after halfback Philip Baselala successfully converted a penalty kick.

Fiji scored their first try of the second half in the 31st minute, thanks to Netava Saukuru, with Tabakaucoro successfully converting it.

Tonga’s Matakaiongo then converted a penalty just before the final whistle.

Fiji will take on Moana Pasifika next on Saturday at 2pm.