Fiji edge out disappointing Japan
June 12, 2010
Timoci Nagusa scored Fiji's second © Getty Images
Fiji opened their Pacific Nations Cup account with a 22-8 victory over Japan on Saturday, wrecking the Brave Blossoms' hopes of an upset win.
Having powered to the Asian Five Nations title, booking their place at the Rugby World Cup in the process, John Kirwan's men had been eyeing a shock in their opening tournament game. Instead, Fiji came good in the second-half to secure a relatively straightforward victory.
Having secured a narrow 3-0 advantage at half-time, Fiji struck for the first try through scrum-half Nikola Matawalu, who chipped over the defence and collected to score.
Their second arrived soon after when Rupeni Nasiqa kicked through for Ulster wing Timoci Nagusa to race under the posts.
Ryan Nicholas kicked a penalty for Japan before skipper Takashi Kikutani scored a five-pointer, but Iliesa Keresoni dashed any hopes of a comeback with Fiji's third.
"It was a disappointing result from our point of view and the boys are disappointed because we did not play as well as what we could do," Kirwan said. "There were a lot errors in the game which cost us.
"The two tries were from turnovers and mistakes and for us the individual errors cost us. Two of their tries came in from 80 metres when we were on attack and turned the ball over. You do that in Fiji and it's going to cost you."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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