SPORTS

Triumphant, Complete PNC 2015 Treble

The Vodafone Flying Fijians captured their third World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup title in captivating style with a hard-earned 39-29 victory over Pacific rivals Samoa at the Swangard Stadium in
05 Aug 2015 12:18
Triumphant, Complete PNC 2015 Treble
The 2015 Pacific Nations Cup champions. Photo: Rugby Canada

The Vodafone Flying Fijians captured their third World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup title in captivating style with a hard-earned 39-29 victory over Pacific rivals Samoa at the Swangard Stadium in Vancouver.

And in doing so, the glorious Fijian team remained undefeated in this year’s edition of the PNC and achieved a three-peat having earlier won the 2013 and 2014 tournaments.

Inseparable at 30-30 during their round robin clash, the Pacific heavyweights locked horns once again for a fight to the finish this time around and displayed a hard-hitting fast paced game of rugby.

Fiji coach John McKee was elated with the victory said his players executed the game plan well.

“We knew they (Samoa) would come out firing in the second half, the boys dug deep and maintained their discipline which was good to see”, he said.

Fiji meant business right from the get-go as towering lock Leone Nakarawa fancily side stepped a few Samoan defenders for Fiji’s first try to get the score board rolling within 2 minutes.

Joshua Matavesi converted and added a penalty for a quick 10-0 lead.

Samoan flyhalf Michael Stanley kicked a penalty to make it 10-3 before Fiji scrum-half Nikola Matawalu danced through for another converted try. Stanley added two more penalties to see the Samoans trail 9-17 at the breather.

A rejuvenated Samoan outfit scored two quick tries very early into the second half to lead 21-17. Impressive Nakarawa crossed over for an unconverted try to put Fiji back in front 22-21 before Stanley restored the lead 24-22 for the Samoans with a penalty.

Kini Murimurivalu then jotted down for Fiji’s 4th try which was converted by replacement Ben Volavola. Nikola Matawalu showed some individual brilliance flashing through the Samoan defence to set up captain Akapusi Qera flying and then touching down gracefully for another converted try which saw Fiji’s lead increased to 36-22.

Replacement Peceli Yato was sin binned in the last quarter of the match and Samoa managed to  cross over for an unconverted try bringing the scores to 29-36. Ben Volavola put the result beyond any doubt with a late penalty.

Fiji showed a lot of character in this match.

Improved discipline, good defense and a strong second half performance set the platform for a memorable victory on Canadian soil. With the 2015 Rugby World Cup fast approaching, one expects similar, if not better performance from the Flying Fijians.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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