Fiji 45-10 Georgia World Cup Match Report
The brilliant Semi Radradra stole the show as Fiji blitzed Georgia, notching seven tries on their way to a 45-10 bonus point win.
With the incentive of automatic qualification for the 2023 Rugby World Cup firmly in their sights in Hanazono, Fiji overcame wet conditions to surge ahead in an exciting game.
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Fiji underlined their potential and sent a warning to Wales who they will face in their final Pool D game. With his two tries and three assists, Radradra was undisputedly the finest talent on show, demonstrating why he is in demand from clubs in both the union and league codes.
It was a scoreless first quarter to forget as the rain poured down at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium, and it took an excellent chase from Radradra to pounce on what looked like a kick to touch in Georgian territory, passing back to centre Waisea Nayacalevu who finished off a splendidly opportunistic piece of rugby.
The try was well converted, but Georgia struck back from the tee a few minutes later, when Soso Matiashvili made up for his earlier miss to make it 3-7. Georgia were well in the game, and the two teams went into the half time break on an even keel.
Fiji Up The Ante
All hell then broke loose in the second half, starting with a try from Fiji scrum half Frank Lomani. It was Radradra who was the creator, taking out a defender before picking out his teammate with a wonderful pass. Ben Volavola missed the conversion, but Fiji didn’t have to wait long to get back on the scoresheet. After Georgia failed to release the ball quickly enough, Fiji kicked a penalty to touch and worked a superb line out move. Fiji had created an overlap and the ball found its way into the hands of Radradra once again, who was in his element. He shook off a tackle and set up wing Josua Tuisova to cap a scintillating Fijian attack.
But the conversion was missed, and before Fiji knew it, Georgia were back in the game at 10-17. A kick which fell short of the lift saw a swift counterattack through the Fijian line by wing Giorgi Kveseladze and lock Otari Giorgadze. The move wound up a few metres short of the line, and from the ensuing pile of bodies, it was then left to veteran flanker Mamuka Gorgodze to reach out over the line.
Just after the 60-minute mark, it was another example of free-flowing running rugby from Fiji, as Tuisova switched flanks to create an overlap, before finding his fellow wing Radradra, who decided it was time he was a little more selfish. Volavola found his kicking boot and Fiji had opened up a gap at 10-24.
Georgia were now staring a bonus point defeat in the face, but the truth is they had not been inferior to the Pacific Islanders for large stretches of the game. It was the devastating blows landed by the Fijian backs that were beginning to take their toll, however.
The fourth second-half try came when Semi Kunatani capitalised on great work from Lomani Botia, whose powerful run took him to within five metres of the line, before gifting the glory to the Harlequins back row. Moments later, it was Fiji’s running rugby which stole the show again, with lock Leone Nakawara grasping the ball from the restart and drawing in two Georgians, before finding the deadly Radradra once more. A sweet switch to Lomani unleashed the scrum half, who dashed up to the Georgian 22, before a sumptuous pass back to Api Ratuniyarawa put him in under the posts.
Soon it was Radradra time again, with the winger making the most of a Georgian mistake, pulling off a mesmerising dummy and shrugging off the attentions of the covering Gorgadze, before tucking his knees in to avoid going into touch as he dove for the line. A fine Volavola conversion completed the destruction of Georgia, who must be wondering what hit them.
Fiji’s fantastic display was puzzling in light of their shock defeat to Uruguay earlier in the tournament. The Flying Fijians will rue their slow start at Japan 2019, but are certainly capable of causing an upset against Wales in their final game, which will take place in Oita next Wednesday (9th October).
Georgia face likely pool winners Australia in their final contest on Friday, 11th October in Shizuoka. It remains to be seen how much energy this mauling from Fiji has sapped out of them. This defeat leaves Georgia as complete outsiders to even reach the World Cup semi finals now.
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