Fiji stun Samoa to win Pacific Nations Cup

Fiji gave Rugby World Cup pool opponents an extra headache ahead of next month’s
tournament by beating Samoa 39-29 in the final to win the Pacific Nations Cup

Island nation Fiji are in Pool A with England, Australia, Wales and Uruguay
and could be one of the tournament’s surprise packages.

Fiji put in a ruthless display of finishing to claim their second Pacific Nations
Cup crown and head into RWC 2015 full of confidence.

Second-row Leone Nakarawa grabbed two of his side’s five tries with the
others coming from influential scrum-half Niko Matawalu, full-back Kini Murimurivalu
and flanker Akapusi Qera in a compelling contest.

Captain Qera was understandably delighted with Fiji’s first win in five
attempts against their great rivals, which sets them up nicely for the Rugby
World Cup curtain-raiser against England at Twickenham on 18 September.

“The PNC is a major part of our build-up towards the Rugby World Cup
and to win the tournament is a major plus for us,” Qera said.

“We will now go back home and enjoy a few days off with family, then
it will be back in camp to focus on the England game. We know that it is not
going to be easy against England. We are in a pool that has been labelled as
a pool of death, and we will survive that pool.”

Elsewhere on the final day at the Pacific Nations Cup, 16 points from the boot
of Kurt Morath and tries from Halani Aulika, Fetu’u Vainikolo and Sonatane
Takulua saw Tonga secure a hard-fought 31-20 victory over Japan in the opening
match of the day at the Swangard Stadium.

In the other game of the day, out-half AJ MacGinty hit a drop goal in the 80th
minute as the USA edged Canada 15-13 in the North American derby to decide fifth

The Pacific Nations Cup is a strategic initiative tournament designed to provide
players with exposure to the rigours of international competition, with the
overriding objective of improving the performance of these strategically important
unions at Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: ‘I wish to send my congratulations
to Fiji on a well-deserved victory at this year’s Pacific Nations Cup, which
was a fantastic competition that saw some excellent rugby on display in Fiji,
USA and Canada.

‘The win will give Fiji a huge confidence boost going into a tough Rugby
World Cup pool in September, but it has also provided a good opportunity for
the other five sides to test their squads ahead of England 2015.

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