Fiji played against Scotland at Churchill Park in Lautoka this Saturday, 16 June. The match Kick off was at 04.00 SA time.
This was a one off test match between the teams as part of Scotland’s three test match tour of Australasia.
The match referee was Jaco Pyper.
Scotland flyhalf Greig Laidlaw, last minute penalty kick hero against Australia, had a field day scoring 22 of Scotland’s points, with an accurate display of kicking and also scoring a try.
Tim Visser celebrated his debut for Scotland by scoring two tries, while Scotland were also awarded a penalty try.
Fiji, who lead by 6 points to 0 in the early stages of the game, via the boot of Jonetai Ralulu, managed to score three tries.
Fiji’s early lead lasted for around 10 minutes before Laidlaw scored and converted his try to put Scotland into the lead, with Scotland then remaining ahead of Fiji through the rest of the game.
- Penalties – Ralulu (2)
- Drop Goals – 0
- Tries – Domolailai (1), Nayacalevu (1), Talebula (1)
- Conversions –Ralulu (2)
- Penalties – Laidlaw (3)
- Drop Goals – 0
- Tries – Laidlaw (1), Penalty (1), Visser (2)
- Conversions – Laidlaw (4)
Fiji: 15 Isimeli Koniferedi 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Geneva Vereniki, 12 Aloisio Buto, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Jonetai Ralulu, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Netani Talei (Captain), 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Iliese Ratuva, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Apisai Naikatini, 3 Stefano Somoca, 2 Viliame Veikoso, 1 Jeremaia Yanuyanutawa
Replacements: 16 Tuatpati Talemaitoga, 17 Waisea Daveta/Graham Dewes 18 Josefa Domolailai 19 Kelepi Ketedromo, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Kameli Ratuvou, 22 Metuisela Talebula
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Max Evans 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 John Barclay, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Richie Gray, 4 Alastair Kellock, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford (Captain), 1 Ryan Grant
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Geoff Cross, 18 Tom Ryder, 19 Richie Vernon, 20 Chris Cusiter, 21 Duncan Weir, 22 Sean Lamont
Some of the match commentary follows:
Nearly 30 degrees here in Lautoka and the teams are lining up for the anthems. Ford and Talei introduce their teams and the bagpipes strike up for the anthem. And we’re off – Fiji take the kick-off, first advantage to Scots after Fiji pinged for offside.
Penalty to Fiji and Ralulu slots it to put the home side 3-0 ahead in under five minutes, followed a minutes later by a further three-pointer from Ralulu – 6-0.
Scotland are penalised for not releasing and Ralulu lines up the kick from over 50m out – this time it’s just short – ten minutes gone.
Good work in the scrum from the Scots and a spot-on lineout throw from Ford see Scotland progress upfield – Evans makes a break, Blair, Laidlaw, Scott and Visser making the numbers and harrying the Fiji line. Laidlaw leaps around the outside to cross the whitewash then converts his own try to put Scotland ahead 7-6.
Penalty try awarded to the Scots, converted by Laidlaw to make it 14-6 to Scotland after 25 minutes.
Scrabble for the line by Fiji and Domolailai claims the five points, Ralulu’s kick goes wide to make it 14-11.
Laidlaw then kicks Scotland’s first penalty to increase the lead to 17-11. A pass destined for Hogg is intercepted by the ref and it’s a scrum to the Scots.
Good numbers and solid work from Scott, De Luca and Blair lead to Visser crossing in the top corner for a debut try, duly converted by Laidlaw on the half-time whistle to make it 24-11.
Laidlaw kicks off the second half and first advantage to Fiji – great break by Matawalu comes to nothing, however.
Scots threaten the line but a forward pass from Hogg halts progress. Penalty in front of the posts to Scotland and Laidlaw nails it to put Scotland 27-11 ahead after 47m.
Three minutes lter sustained pressure from the Fijian pack and good work by Talei ends in Nayacalevu crossing the whitewash, the score converted to make it 27-18.
Talei orchestrates some great attacking play to put Scotland on the back foot. Laidlaw kicks the ball out as Cusiter replaces Blair for Scotland’s first substitution of the match, closely followed by two Fiji replacements.
A great kick to touch by Laidlaw is followed by a missed pass by him and a high tackle from Visser penalises the Scots. Lamont comes on for Evans with 17m to go.
Great break, with solid support, and it’s a try for Talebula on his debut, the score converted to make it 27-25 with 12 minutes to go.
With 10m to go Murray leaves the pitch injured, replaced by Cross. Fiji infringe and Laidlaw slots the penalty in front of the posts to put Scotland ahead 30-25.
Flying Visser then outruns the flying Fijians to score between the posts and extend Scotland’s lead to 37-25 after Laidlaw adds the exras.
A promising break from Kenatale but he doesn’t have the legs to finish it off as the clock ticks down.