5 Aug 2015

Fiji issue World Cup warning to rivals

11:54 am on 5 August 2015

Fiji have sent a Rugby World Cup warning to the Wallabies, turning on an impressive attacking performance to down Samoa 39-29 in this afternoon's Pacific Nations Cup final in Canada.

Fiji rugby captain, Akapusi Qera.

Fiji rugby captain, Akapusi Qera. Photo: Photosport

Drawn in the World Cup's 'group of death' with heavyweights Australia, England and Wales, the Fijians showed they shouldn't be taken lightly as they triumphed over the tough-tackling Samoans in Vancouver.

They outscored Samoa five tries to three in the final, just under seven weeks from their opening World Cup fixture against England at Twickenham on September the 18th.

Fiji raced away to an early 17-3 lead before the physical Samoans looked to have reeled them early in the second half with two quick tries to take a 21-17 advantage.

But Fiji came roaring back with three quick tries to pull clear and hang on for a deserved win.

Former New South Wales Waratahs utility Ben Volavola played an important role for Fiji after coming off the bench, setting up the go-ahead try with a clever cross-field kick for athletic lock Leone Nakarawa to score his second try.

As Fiji looked to be struggling against the power of the Samoan set piece, the game turned on its head around the one-hour mark as the flamboyant Islanders turned on the style to score two tries out of nothing.

The first came through full-back Kini Murimurivalu, going over in the corner for a try converted by Volavola to put Fiji 29-24 ahead.

The Fijians saved their best for last however, and opened up a 12-point lead with a magnificent try from distance.

Replacement Peceli Yato conjured a scintillating break in midfield before feeding the omnipresent halfback Niko Matavalu, who went racing in under the posts.

Matavalu unselfishly popped a pass to skipper Akapusi Qera following up, and with Volavola adding the conversion Fiji were suddenly 36-24 ahead.

Samoa ensured a nervous finish with winger Fa'atoina Autagavaia scoring his second try of the match to reduce Fiji's lead to 36-29, but the conversion missed.

Four minutes from time, Samoa were penalised at a ruck and Volavola stepped up to kick the three points, and Fiji were home.