Wednesday 21 March 2018

Late Bai penalty denies Wales revenge

Wales 16 Fiji 16

Andrew Gwilym

wales failed to gain revenge for their 2007 World Cup humiliation at the hands of Fiji, as the Pacific Islanders grabbed a late draw at the Millennium Stadium last night.

The home side had taken the lead through a Dan Biggar penalty in the seventh minute. Fijian out-half Seremaia Bai levelled the scores with a 15th-minute penalty but then earned himself a spell in the sin-bin, after he lifted Wales wing Aled Brew and drove him into the ground.

Biggar kicked the resulting penalty to put the home side back in front but Josh Matavesi stepped up in place of the absent Bai to tie the scores at 6-6 after 25 minutes.

The hosts were stunned in the 37th minute when Albert Vulivuli crashed over -- Bai, by now back on the field, added the extras.

Lee Byrne was judged just short of the line by the TMO after the break, before a concerted period of Welsh pressure at the scrum led to a penalty try on 58 minutes -- sub Stephen Jones adding the extras to make it 13-13.

A Jones penalty on 62 put the Welsh back in front, but a failure to make the most of possession meant they were never comfortably ahead -- and Bai's injury-time penalty to level the scores denied them the victory.

WALES -- L Byrne; G North, J Hook, A Bishop (T Shanklin 48), A Brew; D Biggar (S Jones 48), R Rees (M Phillips 48); P James, H Bennett, A Jones, I Gough (B Davies 48), D Jones, R Jones, D Lydiate, J Thomas.

Fiji -- J Matavesi; M Tagicakibau, A VuliVuli (T Rawaqa 68) , G Lovobalavu, V Goneva; S Bai, N Kenatale (R Ratu 54); C Ma'afu (G Dewes 58), V Veikoso (T Talemaitoga 52), D Manu; I Rawaqa, J Qovu; S Saukawa, M Ravulo (S Kalou 73), S Koyamaibole (A Qera 51)

Irish Independent

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