Rugby

Fiji secure World Cup spot

2014-06-28 11:00
Nemani Nadolo (Getty Images)

Suva - Fiji have thrashed the Cook Islands 108-6 in a 17-try rout on Saturday to secure their berth at next year's Rugby World Cup in England.

Nemani Nadolo scored a hat-trick of tries while Metuisela Talebula, Adriu Delai and Timoci Nagusa added a pair each in the comprehensive victory which ensured Fiji will play England in the World Cup opener at Twickenham on September 18.

Nemia Kenatale, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Watisoni Votu, Akapusi Qera, Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Leeroy Atalifo scored a try each in the qualifier at Churchill Park, Lautoka. Nikola Matawalu scored two tries as a replacement.

It was the third-highest score posted by a Fijian side, whose best is 120-4 over Niue 31 years ago, while the hapless Cook Islands were subjected to their worst defeat and the first time they have conceded more than 100 points in a game.

It was always going to be a lop-sided fixture between the world's 11th and 46th ranked sides, with Fiji only forced into qualifying after failing to advance from the pool stages at the last World Cup.

Fiji also had the luxury of drawing from an established pool of players, many of them playing professionally abroad, while the Cook Islands searched via social media to find players who were eligible and available.

However, the Cook Islands had a brief sniff of glory, leading 6-5 after the first quarter with two penalties by Sam Vaevae after Fiji fullback Talebula had opened the scoring with a try 70 seconds after the kick off.

But at the 20 minute mark, Fiji tightened their performance after a horrendous run of misdirected passes and handling errors, and as their accuracy improved the try scoring began in earnest.

They scored four further tries to shut out the first half with a 29-6 lead before a second half blitz in which they scored a further 79 points with another 12 tries, eight conversions and an unexpected drop goal by Talebula.

Fiji now join Pool A at the World Cup alongside England, Australia, Wales and one other yet-to-be-decided team.

Scorers:

Fiji: 108 - Tries: Metuisela Talebula (2), Nemia Kenatale, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Nemani Nadolo (3), Watisoni Votu, Akapusi Qera, Adriu Delai (2), Leroy Atalifo, Nikola Matawalu (2), Timoci Nagusa (2), Dominiko Waqaniburoto; Conversions: Nadolo (3), Jonetani Ralulu (7); Drop goal: Talebula

Cook Islands: 6 - Penalties: Sam Vaevae (2)

Teams:

Fiji:
15 Metuisela Talebula; 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Watisoni Votu; 10 Jonetani Ralulu, 9 Nemia Kenatale; 8 Akapusi Qera (captain), 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu; 5 Api Naikatini, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa; 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma'afu

Substitutes: 16 Bill Veikoso, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leroy Atalifo, 19 Rupeni Nasiga, 20 Leone Nakarawa, 21 Nikola Matawalu, 22 Adriu Delai, 23 Timoci Nagusa

Cook Islands:
15 Chay Raui; 14 James Iopu-Johnston, 13 Joel Rapana, 12 James Raea, 11 Ioane Ioane; 10 Sam Vaevae, 9 Dan Deveraux; 8 Steve Setephano, 7 Nick Connal, 6 Kima Iosua; 5 Simon Marcel, 4 Bon Maui; 3 Stan Wright (captain), 2 Francis Smith, 1 AJ Campbell

Substitutes: 16 Jacob Marsters, 17 Chris Iosua, 18 Matt Mullany, 19 Iro Teariki, 20 Mark Ioane, 21 Andrew Putairi, 22 Reece Joyce, 23 Louis Makuere

Referee: Nick Briant (NZL)

Read more on:    rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

After 4 rounds of this year's Absa Currie Cup, who's your favourite for the title?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.