by Ciarán Duffy
Fiji 38 – 16 Samoa
Samoa needed at least a point from the final game of the 2017 Pacific Nations Cup, but they failed to get one and now have to go through a playoff.
Fiji opened the scoring when Henry Seniloli crossed over for the first of his three tries. Samoa responded when captain David Lemi, on his 50th cap crossed over the line, Pisi converted to level the scores. Fiji hit straight back, Seniloli got his second try just a few minutes later. It was, however, Samoa who led at halftime, Pisi kicked 3 penalties to give them a 16 – 14 lead.
Fiji flew out of the blocks in the second half, with Seniloli securing his hattrick with under two minutes gone. Jale Vatubua added another try 10 minutes later. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa got Fijis 5th try with 5 minutes to go. Ben Volavola converted each try and added a penalty.
The result means Tonga have qualified for the World Cup as Oceania 2. They join Pool C, alongside England, France, Argentina, and the USA. Fiji secured qualification last week, they are in Pool D with Australia, Wales, Georgia, and Americas 2 (the winner of the two-legged playoff between Uruguay and Canada). Samoa will play in the Europe/Oceania playoff, with the winner joining Ireland, Scotland, Japan, and Europe 1 in Pool A
Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport). He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.
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