Rugby: Fiji crowned Pacific Nations Cup champions after win over Georgia

  • 16/06/2018

Rugby league convert Semi Radradra has made an immediate impact in his union test debut, helping Fiji to their fourth successive Pacific Nations Cup title with a 37-15 triumph over Georgia.

Fiji won both their games in the four-team tournament, beating Samoa 24-22 last week, to clinch the title ahead of Tonga, who earlier beat the Samoans 28-18 in Suva.

Radradra, who played rugby league for both Australia and Fiji, proved a major handful for the Georgian midfield as he cut through at will and set up field position before grabbing his first test try in the 83rd minute.

He also set up Henry Seniloli's second try in the first half but was earlier guilty of a poor pass to the same player after a similar linebreak that caused the scrumhalf to drop the ball.

Seniloli's first try and inside centre Jale Vatuba's early second half score came from some surprising scrum pressure by the home side on the Europeans, who are renowned for their forward play but were dominated up front for much of the game.

Replacement scrumhalf Frank Lomani also scored two tries in the second half, the first following a tackle-busting run by Nemani Nadolo before he finished off a sweeping counter-attack that showcased the 'flying Fijians' at their best.

Radradra ended his highly promising debut by smashing through two defenders on the tryline long after the final hooter had sounded.

Georgia flanker Viktor Kolelishvili and winger Alexander Todua scored first half tries for the Europeans, who took a 15-10 lead into the break but went scoreless in the second half.

Fiji will face Tonga in Lautoka next week, which is not part of the Pacific Nations Cup tournament, while Georgia play 2019 World Cup hosts Japan in Aichi.