Fiji produced a stunning performance to secure the Pacific Nations Cup title by beating Samoa 39-29 in what turned out to be a thrilling final match.
With less than two months before the World Cup gets underway, Fiji reminded the rest of the world as to why they are a serious threat by turning on the style – outscoring Samoa by five tries to three.
The Swangard Stadium witnessed a sensational start from the Fijians, as Leone Nakarawa’s tremendous run within the first 90 minutes of the game earned them the lead. A barrage of points followed as the Fijians raced to a 17-3 lead.
But the Samoans kept going at it, and pushed Fiji in the early stages of the second half to make it 21-17 at one point.
Michael Stanley was visibly the biggest contributor, scoring two penalties just before half-time, before Jack Lam and Fa’atoina Autagavia contributed to the aforementioned score line, right after the break.
The Samoans began to control the tempo at this point and just when it looks like they were good value for victory, the Fijians mounted a comeback and opened up a 12-point gap to make it 36-24, through Volavola’s finish from distance.
Despite the Samoans reducing the deficit via Autagavia’s second try of the match, Fiji ultimately sealed the win, with Volavola executing a late kick, four minutes from time.