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Fiji snatches bonus-point win over Canada

Fiji snatches bonus-point win over Canada

Kameli Ratuvou's length of the field try after the full-time siren Sunday typified Fiji's bonus-point 29-16 World Cup win over Canada.
In a disjointed performance where sublime attack co-existed with sloppy errors, the Fijians scored four tries to one. But poor handling meant the result was in the balance until the final seconds.
Fiji wasted chances to put the game away by midway through the second half, letting the Canadians back to within a converted try.
With regulation time over, the Canadian forwards set up a driving maul under the Fijian posts and were two meters from snatching an unlikely win.
But the ball spun loose and was spread wide to Ratuvou, who sprinted around one defender and up the right touchline, beating the cover to the line.
In a tense finish, Mike Pyke had a try disallowed for double-movement in the 72nd minute that would have put the Canadians within four points.
Fiji failed to find touch from the penalty and Canada went immediately on the counter.
James Pritchard kicked a penalty from close range two minutes later to make the gap six points.
It was only determination from Canada, and a bundle of errors, that kept them in the match.
The Fijians led 15-6 at halftime via tries to lock Kele Leawere and fullback Ratuvou and generally looked more dangerous with the ball. But its scrum was having trouble against Canada's pack.
Ratuvou threatened the Canada line throughout the match.
He was cut down in a try-saving tackle by Canada captain Morgan Williams in the 20th minute with the tryline in reach.
He was involved in the next phases of sustained attack when Fiji created numbers out wide and Leawere crashed over Pyke and touched down beside the posts in the 22nd minute. Little converted to make it 10-3.
Pritchard cut the difference to four with his second penalty, this one from 42 meters, in the 27th minute.
The Fijians replied with passages of their famous flair.
Big frontrower Jone Railomo ran like a back onto a ball, stepped and ghosted a pass to his support in a movement that sparked Fiji's second try.
Lock Ifereimi Rawaqa stepped inside two defenders to keep the momentum going forward and Ratuvou barged over in the 28th minute. Little's conversion from the left sideline hit the post.
The Fijians crossed again two minutes after the break, with Vilimoni Delasau splitting the line about 15 out and carrying Pyke over to score beside the posts.
That came after Akapusi Qera was tackled just short in the left corner after deciding to run himself instead of passing on an arcing run.
A long period of grinding, driving mauls and scrums inside the Fiji quarter eventually paid off for Canada on the hour, when flyhalf Ryan Smith dived over beside the posts to make the score 22-13.
It was the second close shave for Fiji, which held off a fast finishing Japan 35-31 in its opening match at Toulouse on Wednesday.
The Fijians now have to regroup for a match against two-time champion Australia in Montpellier next weekend. The Australians beat Wales 32-20 at Cardiff on Saturday, after opening with a 91-3 win over Japan.
Canada, which scored three tries and led Wales 17-9 almost an hour into their opening match before losing 42-17, next plays Japan.


Updated : 2021-10-16 08:03 GMT+08:00