Rugby World Cup 2019: Fiji impress in Pasifika Challenge win over Tongad

Fiji have put together an impressive defensive effort to hold out a surging Tonga, beating them 29-19 in the Pasifika Challenge at Eden Park.

On the back foot for most of the first half, Fiji were able to make the most of the limited ball they had and came away with a 10-point win in their Rugby World Cup build-up. 

Tonga got off to the dream start, captain Siale Piutau scoring in the opening minutes, thanks to an early turnover. 

They continued to pressure the Fijians defence, but a turnover won by Semi Radradra, saw him carry the ball downfield, before finding winger Josua Tuisova, who flew towards the line and scored, levelling the game at 7-7. 

Both sides played expansive, exciting rugby throughout the first half and Tonga took the lead again - this time the try came from a huge lineout drive, with hooker Paula Ngauamo scoring. 

But against all odds, Fiji were able to soak up the defensive pressure Tonga put on them to score two late tries and take an unlikely 17-12 lead into the break. 

Tonga dominated possession and territory throughout the first 40 minutes, but couldn't find the final pass to take the lead.

Fiji were inspired coming out of the sheds, feeling like they should've been behind, but they fired in the second half - Fijian captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu crashed over in the 47th minute to take the lead to 24-12.

Tonga made plays for the Fijian line, but brave defence kept them out and Josh Matavesi scored a try against the run of play.

Sosefo Sakalia scored for Tonga, as they continued to dominate the lineout drive - the replacement getting them back into the game with 17 minutes left.

As much as Tonga threw at Fiji throughout the closing stages, they were up to it, making inspired tackles to hold on to an unlikely 29-19 win. 

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