Rugby: Fiji win Pacific Nations Cup

Fiji won the Pacific Nations Cup for the first time with a 34-21 victory over Tonga on the final day of the five-team tournament on Sunday.

Fiji, runners-up three times since the inaugural 2006 tournament, finished with three wins, one defeat and 16 points. Canada were second on 13 points and Tonga third on 10.

Tonga took an early 11-0 lead at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo with halfback Thomas Palu slotting two penalties and right winger Fraser Anderson scoring a try near the left corner in the fifth minute.

Fiji's left winger Sireli Bobo hit back with a solo try in the 23rd minute and Seremaia Bai converted to reduce the deficit to four points.

After Palu missed two penalty attempts for Tonga, Fiji finally got in front in the 33rd minute when winger Napolioni Nalaga received a pass from Saula Radidi near the right corner. Bai made it 14-11 with the conversion.

Palu levelled at 14-14 at half-time with his fourth successful shot at goal, although he struck the left upright when awarded a chance to regain the lead with another penalty early in the second half.

Fiji threatened the Tongan tryline several times and their efforts were rewarded by Bai's penalty in the 55th minute for a 17-14 lead.

In the 62nd minute, centre Nemani Nadolo completed a passing movement for a try near the posts with Bai converting it to stretch the lead to 24-14.

Nalaga scored his second try five minutes later and at 31-14 Fiji had breathing space added to by a further Bai penalty.

Tonga gained some consolation when prop Taione Vea scored a converted try shortly before the end.

-AAP

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