21 November, 2017, 12:00 am
FIJI Airways Flying Fijians lost to Ireland 20-23 in the November Tour in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday.
Fiji put up a gallant performance against Ireland with players like Timoci Nagusa, Nemani Nadolo, Akapusi Qera and Leone Nakarawa.
Fiji’s scored tries to Henry Senioli and Timoci Nagusa while Ben Volavola also kicked 10 points.
Ireland were made to work hard for their 23-20 victory over a quality Fiji outfit, but got the job done at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Ian Keatley’s penalty was key with tries coming from Darren Sweetnam, Dave Kearney and Jack Conan, with Joey Carbery adding a conversion, Planet Rugby wrote.
Volavola did pull Fiji back to within two points on 21 minutes after an offside from Ireland but the hosts hit back almost immediately when Andrew Conway held two defenders to create space on the left for Kearney to dive over. This time Carbery hit the post with his conversion.
Fiji lost to Italy 19-10 in the first match of the tour.
“Kearney was denied a second try on the half-hour due to a knock-on from Conway in the attempt of claiming a ball, but Ireland didn’t have to wait long for their third crossing as Conan showed decent pace to collect a spillage and get over on the right, making it a 17-3 lead,” the website further reported.
Fiji recovered though and a try just before the break from Senioli, set up by Nemani Nadolo, and one four minutes into the second-half from Nagusa, suddenly pulled them level at 17-17. Nagusa’s score came as he intercepted Kearney’s loose pass on halfway.
Suddenly it was anyone’s game in Dublin and Joe Schmidt went to his bench in an attempt to respond. Fiji though were growing in confidence.
Keatley and Volavola traded penalties in the 66th and 69th minute respectively, with the prospect of a thrilling finish becoming a reality. But a tip tackle on Cian Healy from Kini Murimurivalu gifted Keatley his second three-pointer on 73 minutes which proved the match-winner.”
Fiji plays Canada in the final match on tour on Sunday.