Fijiana secure historic victory over Japan

June 20, 2024 7:47 pm

[Source: Fiji Rugby/ Facebook]

In a turnaround performance from last week, the Fijiana XV redeemed themselves with a convincing 24-15 victory over Japan at Churchill Park.

The win is also their first ever against Japan in history.

The Fijiana squad exhibited a stark improvement in their performance, showcasing a more clinical and also matching the Sakura XV.

Article continues after advertisement

From the onset, Fiji displayed their intent with a strong start, capitalizing on their opportunities early on.

A well-executed set piece move off a scrum deep in Japan’s territory saw winger Repeka Tove cross the try line, setting the tone for Fiji.

The Fijiana XV continued to press forward relentlessly, further extending their lead when winger Merewairita Naivosa dotted down twice.

Naivosa’s tries highlighted Fiji’s dominance in both execution and strategy, pushing the score to 12-0 in the first half.

However, Japan fought back, with captain Iroha Nagata leading from the front.

In the 21st minute, a determined driving maul from the Sakura XV resulted in Nagata barging over for their first points, narrowing the gap to 12-7 before halftime.

The second half saw both teams grappling to gain momentum, marked by occasional errors that disrupted their rhythm.

Japan managed to reduce Fiji’s lead with a penalty kick, keeping the game within reach at 17-10.

Yet, Fiji’s defense proved formidable, repeatedly stopping Japan’s attempts to level the score.

The Fijiana XV capitalized on turnovers to convert defense into attack, culminating in replacement hooker Unaisi Lalabalavu crashing over for a crucial try, pushing their lead to 24-10.

Despite Japan’s spirited efforts, including a late second try from Nagata, Fiji’s resilience and tactical discipline ultimately secured the win.