Fiji beats Scotland 27-22 for first time in 19 years
SUVA, Fiji (AP) Fiji beat Scotland for the first time in 19 years by 27-22 in a thrilling rugby test at the National Stadium on Saturday.
Flyhalf Ben Volavola kicked over 17 points, from five penalties and converting one of Fiji’s two tries as the home side led throughout to hold out Scotland, which was coming off a win over Australia last weekend.
Peceli Yato scored a first-half try for Fiji after Volavola’s crosskick was claimed by Patrick Osborne, who beat one defender before handing off to Yato.
With a forward each in the sin-bin, Scotland replied with a try to hooker Ross Ford, whose 110th appearance eclipsed Chris Paterson as Scotland’s most capped player.
But Fiji took an 11-7 lead to halftime, and Volavola’s third penalty made it 14-7 before Scotland drew level with a converted try by fullback Ruaridh Jackson.
After an exchange of penalties left the game tied at 17, replacement scrumhalf Henry Seniloli scored the match-winning try from a break by standout player Leone Nakarawa, who beat three defenders. Volavola converted and added a further penalty to give Fiji the cushion of a 10-point lead at 27-17.
Replacement hooker Fraser Marshall scored a late try from a lineout drive which briefly raised Scotland’s hopes but Fiji held on to post a famous win, only its second in seven tests with the Scots.
Fiji will take huge confidence into next month’s Pacific Nations Cup which also acts as a qualifying series for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Had Scotland won a third straight match under new coach Gregor Townsend, it would have lifted its world ranking to four.