SPORTS

Fijian Warriors Win Opener In Style

The Telecom Fijian Warriors scored a convincing 62-12 win over USA Selects in their opening match of the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge at Estadio Charrua yesterday. The Selects took
10 Oct 2016 11:52
Fijian Warriors Win Opener In Style

The Telecom Fijian Warriors scored a convincing 62-12 win over USA Selects in their opening match of the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge at Estadio Charrua yesterday.

The Selects took an early lead but poor discipline let them down, with two players sent off and they have to improve on their attitude when they take on Canada on Wednesday.

The Warriors did not disappoint the crowd with their Fijian style of rugby, that caught the attention of sports fans around the world during the nation’s sevens team’s gold medal triumph at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Senirusi Seruvakula coached- Warriors ran at the Selects in the opening minutes of the match and were not afraid to put the ball in the air, but the US backs intelligently moved the ball quickly to avoid turnovers.

Poor handling hurt the Selects’ momentum, but they were given a lifeline in the fourth minute when a Fijian clearance found touch on the full.

Fullback Mike Te’o kicked through the defence 15 metres out and, though it eluded Brett Thompson but Matai Leuta was there to put five points on the scoreboard.

The sixth-minute lead did not last long, however, as loose-forward Vasikali Mudu blocked a JP Eloff kick deep in the Selects half for Iferemi Tovilevu to tie the game in the seventh minute.

Despite finding space via the shifty backs and strong-running forwards, the Selects ran into penalty and turnover trouble as the half waned.

A 15th minute lineout to the Warriors was stolen by Eloff just metres in front of the try line before he lost the ball, and the Warriors utilised their offloads with maximum efficiency to put Fredrick Hickes into the in-goal area for a 12-5 lead.

Leuta did well to keep the Selects’ attack from running into touch as it neared the corner minutes later, but Thompson could not replicate the try-scoring combination, losing the pass forward.

Warriors moved to the opposite end of the field in the 25th minute only to have a Selects tap a pass into touch.

The US held the scrum steady and withstood a few attacks along the try line until the penalties started piling up, while it got worse when prop Mason Pedersen had to leave the field due to an injury.

Chance Wenglewski filled in the empty front row spot, but Warriors No. 8 Eremasi Radrodro took the ball from the set piece in the 28th minute over the line to extend the Warriors lead to 17-5.

A long break from Te’o in the 33rd minute would have seen Leuta in for his second of the game had the final pass not been knocked backwards.

It was double disappointment for the Selects as Bryce Campbell chased Mudu into the try zone and knocked the ball out of the Fijian’s hands for Thompson to dot down, but a brief review confirmed the five-metre scrum for the Warriors. A forward pass in their own half doomed the Selects to a defensive session, in which successive penalties gave de Luca no choice but to send centre Martin Iosefo to the sin bin.

Harry Higgins got a hand under the ball as prop Mesake Doge drove over the try line in the final minute of the half, but the try was given for a 24-5 deficit after 40 minutes.

USA Rugby Selects: 12- Tries: Leuta, Tomasin, Conversions: Eloff , Discipline: Iosefo (Yellow), Beach (Yellow)

Fijian Warriors: 62- Tries: Tovilevu, Hickes, Radrodro (2), Doge, Veitokani, Penalty Try, Mudu, Nadruka, Daveta, Conversions: Veitokani (6)

Other results: Samoa A 44- 42 Uruguay, Argnetina XV 52-29 Canada A



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Win Christmas with Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper