Published: Sun, July 16, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Tonga qualify for 2019 World Cup after Fiji beat Samoa

Tonga qualify for 2019 World Cup after Fiji beat Samoa

Vodafone Flying Fijians wing, Patrick Osborne shakes-off Samoan fullback Albert Nikoro during 2016 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup at ANZ Stadium.

But Fiji, who have already qualified for the World Cup, denied them anything as they ran in five tries in 38-16 win and, in the process, handed Tonga qualification. But Samoa needed at least a bonus point in defeat to prevent Tonga claiming the second automatic qualifying place from Oceania.

Tonga had six points after upsetting Samoa two weeks ago and after taking a bonus point from last weekend's 14-10 loss to Fiji.

Tusi Pisi's conversion levelled the scores, but Fiji responded with a wonderful counter-attack with full-back Timoci Nagusa prominent and Senioli crossed for his second try of the match.

Fiji will play in Pool D at the World Cup with Australia, Wales, Georgia and either Canada or Uruguay. This is the British Open Championship and Fiji vs Samoa Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) match.

Vodafone Flying Fijians captain Akapusi Qera leads the team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier against Tonga
Vodafone Flying Fijians captain Akapusi Qera leads the team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier against Tonga

They took an early lead Saturday with Seniloli's first try, created by a pass from Volavola which allowed an inside break from Akipusi Qera.

Two of the three unanswered tries in the second half were scored when the Fijians used quick passing out wide to outplay the Samoa defence.

Samoa coach Alama Ieremia was inevitably disappointed with the result, which will see his side slip one place to 16th when the World Rugby Rankings update at 12 noon on Monday, their lowest position since the rankings were introduced in 2003.

Inside centre Jale Vatubua also scored a try.

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