Rugby World Cup: Wales survive dramatic comeback against Fiji - Sky
At Stade de Bordeaux: Wales 32 (Josh Adams, George North, Louis Rees-Zammit, Elliot Dee tries; Dan Biggar 3 con, 2 pen) Fiji 26 (Waisea Nayacalevu, Lekima Tagitagivalu, Josua Tuisova, Mesake Doge tries; Frank Lomani 2 con, Teti Tela con). HT: 18-14.
Fiery first five-eighth Dan Biggar propelled Wales to a 32-26 win over Fiji in their World Cup match on Monday morning, but not before his team was given an almighty scare in Bordeaux.
Biggar kicked three conversions and two penalties as each team scored four tries in a game dripping with intensity and drama. Wales almost blew an 18-point lead.
The Six Nations team were fortunate to not suffer a repeat of their shock defeat to the same team in their pool match in the 2007 tournament in France.
Two yellow cards late in the game, one to each team with Lekima Tagitagivalu and Corey Domachowski sent to the sin bin, added to the drama as Fiji flew home to score a try to Mesake Doge in the 78th minute to set-up a pulsating finish.
Fiji mounted another spectacular attack but just when it seemed a try was inevitable superstar midfielder Semi Radradra lost the ball with the line wide open. Had he scored, a successful conversion would have given his side a famous victory.
Replacement outside back Josua Tuisova provided Fiji with a glimmer of home with less than 10 minutes remaining, followed by replacement prop Doge crunching over for their side's fourth try.
Biggar was all passion and courage as he guided Wales around the park before he was replaced in the 68th minute, forced to watch anxiously from the sideline as Fiji their spirited comeback.
Fine sportsmanship by Fiji’s replacement forward Levani Botia, known as The Demolition Man, won the hearts of fans from both teams when he told referee Matthew Carley not to bother consulting the TMO to check whether he had scored a try in the second half.
Wales opened their account with a penalty to Biggar, followed by a converted try to left wing Josh Adams inside the first eight minutes.
Rather than be overwhelmed by the early setback Fiji regathered their wits to dot down twice with centre Waisea Nayacalevu and Lekima Tagitagivalu putting their team in front.
Unperturbed by the pressure in front of thousands of their own fans in the stadium, Wales surged back with a try to centre George North when second five-eighth Nick Thompkins attracted two defenders to put his fellow midfielder into a gaping hole.
Fiji were unlucky to have a try ruled out in the 35th minute when prop Eroni Mawi dived over near the sticks, only for the TMO to correctly determine that the ball had slipped from his grasp as he crashed over the line.
A lack of discipline from Fiji could have cost them late in the half when wing Selestino Ravutaumada was penalised for a high tackle, but wasn't deemed to have met the threshold for a yellow card.
The pressure Wales found themselves under was laid bare when Biggar tore strips off his team-mates as they inexplicably attempted to run the ball with their backs to their own line, with time up on the clock.
Biggar's swearing could be heard over the microphones and were beamed out to the TV audience, and as he trotted off the to tunnel he continued to curse his players' wayward decision-making.