Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Last week the Pacific Nations Cup came to an exciting conclusion as Japan scored an injury time try against Fiji to secure their first ever title win. Here's a quick wrap-up of what happened in the last two games.
Japan needed to beat Fiji with a bonus point to make sure they had a chance of winning the tournament, and things weren't looking good at halftime as Fiji led the game. The home side had a lapse in discipline though and ended the match with 12 players on the field, allowing Japan to score a late try and pick up a 24-13 bonus point win.
Fiji had three yellow cards and two reds, and have since had two players suspended.
"It was Fiji's indiscipline that helped us in the win," said Japan coach John Kirwan. "However, I salute my players for the effort and they did what I asked them at the break. Now it is the World Cup and there is still a lot of work to be done."
In the other match, Tonga would have felt they were in the driving seat as they beat Samoa 29-19. Chiefs prop Sona Taumalolo scored a brilliant individual effort, which you can see here. They were probably the best side in the tournament as they had earlier beaten Fiji, had the best points differential, and the strongest defense.
The late Japan try meant that they went equal with Tonga on ten points, so the outcome of the tournament was determined by the top two's previous encounter, which Japan won 28-27.
Fiji will now need to lift themselves for their big meeting with the All Blacks this Friday evening.