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The ridiculous skills of Leone Nakarawa helped Fiji win a thriller against Samoa

The Glasgow Warriors man is raising the bar for second rows everywhere.

GOOD GOD, FIJI are a joy to watch.

John McKee’s side, who meet England in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup, came out on top of a 39 – 29 thriller to beat Samoa in last night’s Pacific Nations Cup final and, right from the first whistle, they looked intent on putting on a show.

90 seconds in to the game, Leone Nakarawa took yet another opportunity to show off the skills that make him look like the next stage of evolution for second rows.

The Glasgow Warriors lock looks like he’s playing a meaningless game of touch in the back yard at the best of times. Yet faced with three fresh Samoan tacklers he went full-Nakarawa, putting the ball beyond the defender while fending him off and cruising in over the try-line.

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Awful defending? Yes.

Awesome Leone? Always.

After that, everything seemed – not ordinary exactly, but – a little conventional. Niko Matawalu scorched in the second try off a messy line-out to help Fiji in to a 17 – 9 lead at the halfway point.

mata 1 Right 1 Right 1

Samoa threw everything at the deficit in the second period. They boshed their way to 17 – 16 with a Jack Lam try and then took the lead through this brilliant Faatoina Autagavaia score, a set play off the back of a scrum.

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That was 17 – 21 and the two Island nations were going blow for blow. Nakarawa ran in his second try of the game on 52 minutes – collecting an offload 10 metres out – but Samoa responded with another Michael Stanley penalty.

22- 24, the cat was amongst the pigeons until Fiji unleashed a flowing set move that ended with fullback Kini Murimurivalu touching down.

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Keeping count? That was Fiji’s fourth try and they still weren’t done. After a superb powerful carry from Perceli Yato, Matawalu broke into open field and ran all the way under the posts.

He didn’t touch it down though, instead he popped up a pass for his captain Akapusi Qera who looked only too happy to sail through the air and accept the gift.

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Never change, Fiji.

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