Fiji Warriors Dig Deep To Overcome Tonga in Pacific Rugby Cup Challenge Opener

Fiji Warriors began their World Rugby Pacific Challenge title defence with a tough 29-17 victory over Tonga A, despite playing with 14 players for most of the game due to a red card.

The Warriors were left with a man down after loose-head prop John Muller was red-carded in the 23rd minute.

Tonga A led 9-5 at that point after two penalties and a drop goal from fly-half Patelesio Oneone to a try from Fiji Warriors hooker Patemo Nuku in reply.

Rather than let their heads drop, the dismissal of Muller galvanised the 10-times champions and they had the try bonus point in the bag after 54 minutes.

Sakiusa Vosayaco’s try on the half-hour mark ensured Fiji Warriors went into half-time with a narrow 12-9 advantage, while Nuku’s second and one from Sivaniolo Lumelume got them up to four tries.

Replacement Aisake Stani added a fifth with an hour gone as Fiji Warriors extended their lead to 29-12, Oneone having taken Tonga A into double figures with his third penalty of the match.

The score remained that way until Tonga A replacement forward, ‘Ofa Tapueleulu, crossed with time nearly up.

Next up at Apia Park in Samoa, the Warriors will face Japan A in the top-of-the-table clash on Monday, April 15. With both teams earning try bonus points, Japan XV currently leads the standings due to their superior points difference after a 48-5 win over Manuma Samoa, showcasing their strength with eight tries. 

Foodie Night 1327x198 ad(1)
Top Stories