It was a physical and tough battle between the Fiji Water Flying Fijians and the Ikale Tahi Tonga side in the first round of the Punjas Series Pacific Battle this afternoon as Fiji claimed a 36-20 win at home to kick start their journey to the Rugby World Cup on a high note.
The Flying Fijians started the game strongly with a penalty try to lead 7-0 as Tonga was reduced to 14 men with a yellow card to flanker Tangi noa Halaifonua.
Fiji took advantage of Tonga's 1-man down to score two more tries to captain Waisea Nayacalevu and Sam Matavesi to extend their lead to 19-0.
Tonga came back and scored two tries and a penalty to close the gap to 19-15.
Flying Fijians inside centre Josua Tuisova scored Fiji's fourth try at the stroke of half time with Caleb Muntz converting it to head into the break with a 26-15 lead.
Tonga started the game well in the second spell with an unconverted try in the corner to close the gap 26-20.
It took the Flying Fijians a good 27 minutes of the second half to score their first points of the second spell through a penalty kick from Muntz for a 29-20 lead.
With 2 minutes from full time, replacement halfback Peni Matawalu scored Fiji's 5th try with a successful conversion from the sideline by Muntz to seal the win for the Flying Fijians.
-Crowd is on their feet as the National Anthems are being sung
-This is the only home game that the Fiji Water Flying Fijians will have before the Rugby World Cup as they will play Samoa in Apia next week before flying off to Japan right after that.
-Teams getting ready for the traditional challenges
-Cibi from the Flying Fijians and Sipi Tau from the Ikale Tahi Tonga
-3 debutants to start in Lekima Tagitagivalu who will start at number 6 with Caleb Muntz starting at fly-half ahead of veteran Ben Volavola who will be on the bench, while Selestino Ravutaumada will start on the left wing and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta hopefully debut off the bench
-Tonga on the attack before an intercept from Ravutaumada before passing to nayacalevu
-Tonga clear the ball from their 5 metre
-Tuisova breaking through a few tackles before passing to his centre, maqala takes it up the middle but hey lose the ball
-Fiji 7-0 Tonga
-Yellow Card to Halaifonua
-1st scrum of the game to Fiji, Tuisova bumping off Fekitoa
-Nayacalevu gets a try in the corner
-Fiji 12-0 Tonga
-Fekitoa ripping the ball off Fiji
-Fiji gets a penalty, Muntz kicks to the corner
-Fiji looking to drive over and they get another one through hooker Sam Matavesi
-Fiji 17-0 Tonga
-Muntz gets his first Test points
-Fiji 19-0 Tonga
-Tonga playing a penalty advantage and they opt for a kick to the corner
-Solomone Kata denied a try in the corner from Wainiqolo but the ref is playing Advantage so they get the ball back
-Siua Maile gets Tonga on the scoreboard
-Fiji 19-5 Tonga awaiting the conversion
-Tuisue running up the middle
-Fiji penalised for entering from the side at the ruck
-Tonga attacking once again and TRY Halaleva Fifita!!
-busting through Lomani and Tuisova
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