Suva -Fiji launched their Rugby World Cup build-up with a crushing 27-10 win over the Maori All Blacks in Suva on Saturday.
It was their first win over the New Zealand Maori in 62 years.
"To get a win in our first game is an amazing achievement for the
team," captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu said of Fiji's first run together
since beating France eight months ago.
"It means a lot to the team, means a lot to the individual players."
Maori captain Ash Dixon described the Fiji performance as "awesome"
and said his side failed to contain the Fijians off-and free-flowing
Fiji dominated from the outset, led 12-0 at half-time, and their
cause was boosted with 10 points coming while the Maori were down to 14
men when Otere Black was sin-binned late in the first half.
They were up 15-0 when the Maori mounted a limited fight back with
two tries to Sean Wainui before Waisea Nayacalevu dived over for his
second to put the result beyond doubt.
With the World Cup in Japan just over two months away, there was
incentive for both sides with New Zealand and Fiji yet to confirm their
final squads and the Maori told they still had a chance to force their
way into the All Blacks.
It was the Fijians were made the most of the opportunity with strong
running and slick off-loads which exposed serious flaws in the Maori
The four tries to two victory was only Fiji's eight win over the
Maori in 30 attempts and their first since 1957 - 17 games ago.
For Fiji, Alivereti Veitokani, Viliame Mata and Nayacalevu (two)
scored tries with Ben Volavola landing two conversions and a penalty.
The Maori points came from two tries by Wainui.
The two sides play a return match in Rotorua, New Zealand next weekend.