Fiji smash terrible Tonga
Fiji smash terrible TongaSHARE
Fiji centre Nemani Nadolo scored a try among his 20 points as the hosts beat Tonga 45-17 on Saturday in their opening match of the Pacific Nations Cup.
Wings Watisoni Votu and Sireli Bobo both scored two tries, while back row forward and captain Akapusi Qera scored another as Fiji piled on six tries to two in a comprehensive performance.
Fiji opened the match at a rapid pace with a penalty to Nadolo, then tries to Votu and Nadolo, both converted, to lead 17-0 after only 14 minutes.
Though the play of both sides was affected by handling errors, often the product of jarring tackles, Fiji managed to score at more than a point per minute.
Tonga finally got onto the board with a penalty to Fangatapu Apikotoa in the 22nd minute and managed to find some defensive steel before Bobo added Fiji's third try nine minutes from half-time.
Votu scored his second in the 12th minute of the second half to give Fiji a commanding 31-3 lead and a blowout seemed likely until Viliami Fihaki came off the bench to score tries for Tonga in the 24th and 26th minutes of the second half. Both were converted by Latiume Fosita, cutting the deficit to 31-17.
Fiji seemed in danger of letting their control of the match slip, but recovered their composure to finish with tries to Bobo and Qera in the 79th and 81st minutes. Nadolo supplemented his try with six conversions and a penalty.
Fiji joined Japan on the winners' rostrum, after Japan's 34-25 win last weekend over Canada.
Tonga drew 18-all win Samoa in their opening match and the United States is due to host Japan later.
Tries: Votu 2, Bobo 2, Nadolo, Qera
Cons: Nadolo 6
Tries: Fihaki 2
Cons: Fosita 2
Fiji: 15 Timoci Nagusa, 14 Watisoni Votu, 13 Adriu Delai, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Sireli Bobo, 10 Jonetani Ralulu, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Akapusi Qera (captain), 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Talemaitoga Tuapati, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Isei Colati, 19 Apisai Naikatini, 20 Nemani Nagusa, 21 Nemia Kenatale, 22 Waisea Nayacalevu, 23 Metuisela Talebula.
Tonga: 15 David Halaifonua, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Fraser Anderson, 11 Alaska Taufa, 10 Fangatapu Apikotoa, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Nili Latu (captain), 6 Pasuka Mapakaitolo, 5 Daniel Faleafa, 4 Josh Afu, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Suliasi Taufalele, 1 Tevita Mailau.
Replacements: 16 Paula Ngauamo, 17 Ofa Faingaanuku, 18 Eddie Aholelei, 19 Sitiveni Mafi, 20 Viliami Fihaki, 21 Samisoni Fisilau, 22 Latiume Fosita, 23 Will Helu.
Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Mathieu Raynal (France)