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Winning Feeling

Winning Feeling
July 16
14:00 2017

The Vodafone Flying Fijians successfully defended their Pacific Nations Cup title after walloping Manu Samoa 38-16 at Apia Stadium yesterday.

Fiji’s win has allowed Tonga to book their spot for the 2019 Rugby World Cup while Samoa has to battle for the third qualifying spot.

The Fijians scored five tries, three to scrumhalf Henry Seniloli and one each to Jale Vatubua and Apisalome Ratuniyarawa with Ben Volavola kicking all the five conversions and one penalty.

Team captain Akapusi Qera believes the outcome was the reward for the players’ dedication and commitment.

“It’s a good feeling for us and that’s why we play rugby,” he said.

“Winning the PNC title and also qualifying for the 2019 RWC is a sign of hard work the boys put in the last two weeks.

“It was a tough battle and we just want to thank God for giving us the strength to push forward for seven weeks and we want to thank all our families who have supported us all the way, our fans and sponsors.”

The home side led 16-14 at halftime with a try to captain David Lemi and three penalties through the boots of Tusi Pisi. Fiji’s 14 points came from  Seniloli’s two tries converted by Volavola.

The John McKee- coached side dominated in the second half scoring three tries, try each to Seniloli, Vatubua and Ratuniyarawa and Volavola was successful with three conversions and also added the extras with one penalty.

The Fijians were ruthless in defence and recycled ball well during phase play.

Samoa captain David Lemi said they would need to rectify their mistakes as they work towards hunting a spot for 2019 RWC.

“It’s a tough road ahead against the European sides,” Lemi said.

“Our boys need to dig deep and make sure we qualify for the RWC.

“We want to congratulate the Fijians for winning the PNC.”

 

Here’s How We Rate Our  vodafone flying Fijians:

  1. Campese Maáfu- 7

Continues to work well as a formidable unit upfront

  1. Tuapati Talemaitoga- 6.5

Displayed great strength and held his own in the physical contest.

3 Manasa Saulo- 7

Played a pivotal role.

  1. Tevita Cavubati- 6.5

Good ball carrier and defended well

  1. Leone Nakarawa- 9

Another exemplary performance from the Kadavu giant.

  1. Dominiko Waqaniburotu- 6.5

Tireless in defence, strong, good ball hunter.

  1. Akapusi Qera- 8

Led from the front, always in the thick of battle.

  1. Nemani Nagusa- 7

Great awareness for space, another strong game.

  1. Henry Seniloli- 9

Played a key role, scoring three tries, linking well with the team.

  1. Ben Volavola- 8.5

Controlled play well and a good kicking game.

  1. Patrick Osborne- 8

Solid on defence, fired up the backline, intelligent player with the ball.

  1. Jale Vatubua- 8

Good defensive game and combining well with the team.

  1. Asaeli Tikoirotuma- 7

Strong in attack and ruthless in defence.

  1. Vereniki Goneva- 7.5

Another good all-round display.

  1. Timoci Naqusa- 9

Attacking fullback, creating try scoring opportunities.

Reserves:

  1. Kalivati Tawake- 5.5

A good support player.

  1. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa- 6.5

Good display by the giant.

  1. Viliame Mata- 5.5

Building up to be a good impact player.

  1. Eroni Vasiteri- 6.5

Displayed good attacking skills.

  1. Josua Tuisova- 5.5

Doing the right things when it matters.

 

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