Winger Semi Radradra scored two of Fiji's seven tries and made three others, as the Pacific Islanders finally got a win on the board at the Rugby World Cup with a 45-10 victory over Georgia at a rain-drenched Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Thursday.
While an opening defeat to Australia and upset loss to Uruguay have all-but put paid to their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, Fiji are now in pole position to finish third in Pool D and qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
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Former Australia rugby league international Radradra was at the heart of their best moves and grabbed a brace, as well as helping set up scores for centre Waisea Nayacalevu, halfback Frank Lomani and fellow winger Josua Tuisova.
Georgia fought hard throughout and had a try from totemic flanker Mamuka Gorgodze, but looked tired towards the end, as flanker Semi Kunatani and lock Apisalome Ratuniyarawa crossed to inflate the scoreline.
Expected to dominate the forward exchanges, the Georgian pack suffered the ignominy of conceding the upper hand to their counterparts, with two of their late tries coming directly from forward turnovers.
"Very pleasing today, that was a great effort from the boys," said Fiji coach John McKee.
"It was a real arm wrestle for the first 45-50 minutes, but to come home so strong and score some really good tries, really pleasing.
"It's great to see us scoring some tries out wide and showing our talents to the world."
In the build-up to the match, Georgia coach Milton Haig spoke about the importance of stopping the Fijians' running game, but he conceded his side had no answer to their lightning attacks.
"Once you let them get in behind you with those line breaks, they're pretty hard to stop," said Haig. "They're the best in the world at open play."
Fiji next face Wales next Wednesday, while Georgia take on Australia two days later.
Fiji 45 (Radradra 2, Nayacalevu, Lomani, Tuisova, Kunatani, Ratunyarawa tries; Volavola five conversions) Georgia 3 (M Gorgodze try; Matiashvili conversion & penalty)
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