Fiji scored three first-half tries to lead 21-5 at halftime but Tonga pressured the home side throughout the second half.
Bai’s goalkicking and rigid midfield defense was critical as Tonga fullback Viliame Iongi scored his second try of the match in a more closely-fought second half.
Fiji seized the lead after only three minutes with a try to winger Vereniki Goneva after Tonga lost the ball inside Fiji’s 22 and fullback Kini Murimurivalu booted the ball downfield for Goneva to collect the bounce and score near the posts. Bai converted.
Tonga responded, moving the ball quickly from a lineout in the 10th minute and Iongi scored in the corner. Flyhalf Samisoni Fisilau missed a conversion which would have tied the scores.
Lock Rupeni Nasiga scored Fiji’s second try after 19 minutes. Albert Vulivuli carried the ball to the line and it was quickly moved wide for Nasiga to score in the corner and Bai to convert from the sideline.
Murimurivalu outflanked the Tonga defense to score in the 35th minute and Bai again converted to give Fiji a comfortable halftime lead.
Iongi scored his second try in the opening minute of the second half to boost Tonga’s hopes, and Fisilau – who had missed two penalties – landed the conversion to cut the lead to 21-12. But Bai landed two second half penalties and rallied a determined Fiji defense to keep the match under control.
Fiji’s win avenged its 45-21 loss to Tonga during the recent Pacific Nations Cup. The teams will meet again in a final warmup match before Tonga meets New Zealand in the opening match of the World Cup in Auckland on Sept. 9.
Fiji 27 (Vereniki Goneva, Rupeni Nasiga, Kini Murimurivalu tries; Seremaia Bai 3 conversions, 2 penalties) Tonga 12 (Viliami Iongi 2 tries; Samisoni Fisilau conversion). HT: 21-5.
Click the following link to view photo gallery:
12:06am United States vs Georgia
12:28 Fiji vs Tonga
12:50 Wales vs Uruguay
1:12 England vs Portugal
1:34 Argentina vs Hong Kong
1:58 Opening Ceremony
2:30 Australia vs Spain
2:52 France vs Tunisia
3:14 South Africa vs Russia
3:36 Scotland vs Japan
5pm Samoa vs Phillipines
5:22 Kenya vs Zimbabwe
5:44 New Zealand vs Georgia
5:11 United States vs Canada
6:28 Fiji vs Uruguay
6:50 Wales vs Tonga
7:12 Argentina vs Portugal
7:34 England vs Hong Kong
7:56 Australia vs Tunisia
8:18 France vs Spain
8:40 South Africa vs Japan
9:02 Scotland vs Russia
9:24 Zimbabwe vs Phillipines
9:46 Canada vs Georgia
10:08 Tonga vs Uruguay
10:30 Portugal vs Hong Kong
10:52 Spain vs Tunisia
11:14 Samoa vs Kenya
|28 Jun 2013 – 18:30||Australia||21 – 0||Spain||Pool A|
|28 Jun 2013 – 18:52||France||24 – 7||Tunisia||Pool A|
|28 Jun 2013 – 19:14||South Africa||31 – 0||Russia||Pool B|
|28 Jun 2013 – 19:36||Scotland||19 – 17||Japan||Pool B|
|28 Jun 2013 – 15:00||Samoa||21 – 14||Zimbabwe||Pool C|
|28 Jun 2013 – 15:22||Kenya||45 – 5||Philippines||Pool C|
|28 Jun 2013 – 15:44||New Zealand||31 – 12||Canada||Pool D|
|28 Jun 2013 – 16:06||USA||26 – 19||Georgia||Pool D|
|28 Jun 2013 – 16:28||Fiji||45 – 0||Tonga||Pool E|
|28 Jun 2013 – 16:50||Wales||33 – 5||Uruguay||Pool E|
|28 Jun 2013 – 17:12||England||21 – 7||Portugal||Pool F|
|28 Jun 2013 – 17:34||Argentina||47 – 7||Hong Kong||Pool F|