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Monday Jul 17, 2017

Fiji win Pacific Nations Cup to book RWC 2019 place along with Tonga

Fiji secured their place in the 2019 Rugby World Cup after claiming the Pacific Nations Cup title by beating Samoa 38-16 in the final at Apia Park.

The result also handed Tonga direct qualification to the tournament in Japan, completing the Oceania 2 spot and joining England, France, Argentina and the USA in Pool C.

It was a closely fought game at half-time with Samoa leading 16-14 thanks to a David Lemi try and 11 points from the boot of Tusi Pisi. But Fiji were on the sort of form that makes them so entertaining to watch.

They opened the score with a typically flamboyant try from Henry Seniloli – the first of three for the scrum-half. He bagged another with 12 minutes before completing the hat-trick just after half-time.

Samoa kept within touch and did well to lead at the break, but were undone in a one-sided second period following tries from Jale Vatubua and replacement Apisalome Ratuniyarawa.

The two Pacific sides then participated in a traditional post-match prayer and jersey swap, putting their rugby rivalry to one side in a touching show of comradery.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

FIJI AND SAMOA PLAYERS PRAY TOGETHER

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