Rugby | SPORTS

Fijians Precise, Punishing in Win

Fiji 51 – 17 Royal Navy It was almost a home game for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) team as cheered on by their large number of travelling
12 Oct 2015 13:17
Fijians Precise, Punishing in Win
The Republic of Fiji Military Forces attack against Royal Navy in the International Defence Rugby Competition in the United Kingdom.

Fiji 51 – 17 Royal Navy
It was almost a home game for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) team as cheered on by their large number of travelling fans when they produced a game of pace and power that proved too much for the Royal Navy to handle.
Their lively scrumhalf Seru Cavuilati controlled the game’s tempo and he had an enviable choice of short runners to bring on to the ball.
When they chose to move it wider their support runners produced inventive lines to keep the Royal Navy’s defence on the backoot.
Seven tries tells its own story, but Fiji has thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the Pool and indeed the whole International Defence Rugby Competition (IDRC).
First it was flanker Ameniasi Nava who was put clear down the left. Then after a penalty had extended the lead, it was No. 8 Jolame Bera who dived over from short range. Another penalty, 18-0 and Fiji were firmly in the ascendancy with a quarter of the match gone.
Taking the game to Fiji, the Royal Navy started to win some penalties of their own, but rather than go for goal went for the corner. Clean possession and a cohesive driving maul was driven over the goal line for Dave Fairbrother to claim the try.
From the restart, they kept their momentum and Greg Welling broke clear up field. Another penalty conceded by Fiji and this time Jon Humphrey was asked to add the three points by skipper Ben Priddey. Fiji 18-0.
The Navy needed to keep their momentum, but a couple of unforced errors and needless penalties put Fiji back in control as the half came to an end.
First it was hooker Isireli Ledua who took a quick penalty from short range and claimed the third try.
The just before halftime Fiji earned their bonus point when Nava crossed for his second and Fiji’s fourth try.
Fiji 32-10 at halftime.
The second-half saw the worse possible start for the Royal Navy. First five eighth Nathan Huntley spilled the kick-off and from the scrum Fiji drove the Navy pack fully 10 metres backwards.
The penalty followed and from the quickly taken kick, Fairbrother committed a professional foul and saw yellow. Another scrum with Fiji still in control and Cavuilati went right and to find his winger Sevuloni Lutu who scored in the corner. Fiji 37-10
The Royal Navy weathered the remaining 10 minutes of the sin bin.
However, when Seta Raumakita mis-timed a tackle and went high, he became the second Royal Navy player to see referee’s Jason Hagan’s yellow card.
So, as Fairbrother returned from the bin, Seta left the field and the Navy had to play another 10 minutes with 14 men.
The extra workload told and Fiji were able to exploit the extra space.
However, heroic Navy defence kept their line secure and having survived they produced some of their best rugby of the evening to take the game back to Fiji.
Skipper Ben Priddey started it all with a strong drive into the heart of the Fiji defence. Quick ball to Johnny Stephen and Nathan Huntley went aerial with a well weighted crossfield kick.
Ben Chambers was running out of room on the left, but tipped the ball inside for full back Jon Humphrey to cross and go under the posts. He converted his own try and the lead was reduced to 20 points. Fiji 37-17.
However, it was Fiji who was to finish the stronger. Cavuilati made way for Nemani Koroitamani who immediately broke 30m up field following a quality lineout ball from Bera.
Though Koroitamana couldn’t make the line, the move didn’t die and it was Vilitiati Watakaca who found himself free to score.
Then from the restart Fiji finished the socring with a break from deep when replacement Lepani Kurumudu went the length of the pitch to score.
With both conversions landed, Fiji had broken through the 50 point mark and the lead had extended to 51-17.
For the Royal Navy, they face the winners from the first pool game, New Zealand and cant afford another reverse if they are to progress. IRDC

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