# Dodged a bullet
Wales survive nervy second half to see off the ever-entertaining Fiji
A bonus point was out of reach for Warren Gatland’s side.

Wales 23

Fiji 13

IT WAS ARGUABLY the try of the tournament, but it wasn’t enough for Fiji to upset Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Vereniki Goneva’s second half try saw Fiji travel coast to coast in a matter of seconds, but despite spells in the second half where they ripped the Welsh defence to shreds, they couldn’t capitalise.

Wales started line a train, George North stampeding through the middle of the pitch to make it into the Fijian 22, where the game was mainly played in the opening minutes.

They eventually made the breakthrough after seven minutes. A free-kick at the scrum allowed them to charge at the line, and when Gareth Davies ducked to the left, straight in front of the posts, he found the Fijian defence sleeping, to dive over for his fourth try of the tournament.

The Welsh scrum struggled against England, and that form returned early on, Tomas Francis being driven back and conceding a penalty shortly after, Ben Volavola kicking it to make the score 7-3.

Volavola could have made it a one point game within minutes, but his penalty from the left wing was pulled badly.

Wales came agonisingly close to a second try as Matthew Morgan’s break from deep eventually saw Talupe Faletau tackled just short of the line, before referee John Lacey deemed he held onto the ball in the ruck.

Britain Rugby WCup Wales Fiji AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Fiji began to threaten, getting creative in the middle third of the pitch, but their momentum was soon suckepunched, as Wales scored try number two. Alun Wyn Jones broke through the middle and offloaded to Matthew Morgan who milked every inch out of the pitch before being tackled.

A great pass from Biggar set Tyler Morgan through, and hooker Scott Baldwin pounced to burrow over the tryline, Biggar’s conversion extending the lead to 14 points.

Ben Volavola reduced the gap to 11 wityh his second penalty, while a dangerous Welsh attack close to the Fijian line was ended with a neck roll from Bradley Davies, as the missed chances started to mount for Warren Gatland’s side.

But Fiji hit back early in the second half, in the most Fijian way possible.

An Alex Cuthbert mistake allowed Aseli Tikoirotumato counter from deep, breaking into the Fijian half, before offloading a beautiful basketball flick to Timoci Nagusa, who swayed to the right and then the left, eventually putting in Vereniki Goneva, who crashed over.

Britain Rugby WCup Wales Fiji AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Wales were getting drawn into a game of sevens, and they needed something to settle the nerves. Dan Biggar had no trouble landing a penalty from more than 50 metres, and it pushed the gap out to seven.

But they still didn’t learn, and with loose kicking it allowed Fiji to play to their strengths, Leone Nakarawa the latest to come close after a fluid attack.

It was becoming end-to-end, and Wales almost found try number three with 15 minutes to play; Ken Owens just putting a foot in touch after a clever lineout move left Fiji scrambling, eventually forcing the substitute hooker to step out over the line.

When Fiji flew off their feet straight in front of the posts with 12 minutes to play, the penalty was celebrated like a try, as Dan Biggar’s fifth kick from five put 10 points, and a bit of daylight between the sides.

Rhys Priestland turned down the opportunity to kcik at goal from 40 minutes with five to play, and the gamble almost paid off, as Gareth Davies was held up on the line as he chased his fifth try of the tournament.

The win leaves Wales in a great position to make it to the quarter finals, and although they have arguably their biggest challenge ahead of them in the final match against Australia, Gatland’s patched up could secure a quarter final spot as early as this Saturday, should the Aussies get the better of England at Twickenham.

Wales scorers:
Tries: Gareth Davies, Scott Baldwin (1 each)
Conversions: Dan Biggar (2)
Penalties: Dan Biggar (3)
Fiji scorers:
Tries: Vereniki Goneva (1)
Conversions: Ben Volavola (1)
Penalties: Ben Volavola (2)

Wales: Matthew Morgan, Alex Cuthbert, Tyler Morgan, Jamie Roberts, George North, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Gethin Jenkins, Scott Baldwin, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (capt), Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Aaron Jarvis, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Justin Tipuric, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, James Hook

Fiji: Metuisela Talebula; Timoci Nagusa, Vereniki Goneva, Lepani Botia, Aseli Tikoirotuma; Ben Volavola, Nemia Kenatale; Campese Ma’afu, Sunia Koto, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera (capt), Netani Talei

Replacements: Viliame Veikoso, Peni Ravia, Leeroy Atalifo, Nemia Soqeta, Malakai Ravulo, Henry Seniloli, Joshua Matavesi, Kini Murimurivalu

It’s thumbs up from the Irish rugby squad during a day off today

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