Fiji defeat Canada 29-16
CARDIFF, 16 September - Fiji have held off a determined Canada to win their Pool B match 29-16 at Millennium Stadium.
But the scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the tussle, especially in the second half.
Indeed, the margin blew out only at the death when Canada, pressing for a try of their own that would have brought them to within a point with the conversion attempt to follow, gave the ball over a metre from the Fiji line. Fiji full back Kameli Ratuvou ran the length of the field to score his second try.
It was rough justice for the Canucks, who had the better of the second half and attacked the Fiji line relentlessly.
The Pacific Islanders led 15-6 at the break on the back of two tries, though the Canucks kept themselves in striking distance thanks to the trusty boot of James Pritchard, who landed two penalty kicks.
Pritchard opened the scoring on five minutes after Fiji were called for a dangerous tackle. But Nicky Little cancelled that out three minutes later when he kicked truly after a Canada offside offence.
Ratuvou missed a great chance to score a try on 20 minutes when he lost the ball while fending off an opponent metres from the line.
But lock Kele Leawere made no mistake three minutes later when he accepted a pass, brushed past one opponent and crossed over for Little to make the conversion.
Pritchard bridged the gap to four points when he landed another penalty kick after Fiji were called for offside.
Ratuvou made amends for his earlier slip when he capped a strong drive forward to go over in the corner.
Fiji picked up where they left off after the break, with wing Vilimoni Delasau going over two minutes after the restart and Little again converting.
Delasau also delighted the crowd soon after, clearing a path through the Canada defence with a series of double-footed hop-steps.
After constant pressure, Canada were finally rewarded with a try on the hour from fly half Ryan Smith, which Pritchard converted to close the margin to nine points.
Canada full back Mike Pyke was denied a try in the 70th minute when the referee, Tony Spreadbury of England, consulted with his TV match official to rule the full back had made a double movement in crossing the line.