The accurate kicking of fly half Matthew Jarvis helped Wales keep their IRB Junior World Championship semi final hopes alive with a 31-3 defeat of Fiji at the Club Atletico Estudiantés in Paraná.
The victory means Wales' final Pool A match against two-time
champions New Zealand in Santa Fe on Sunday becomes a must-win
match for Phil Davies' side, as they have fewer points then the
second placed sides in the two other pools.
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Jarvis kicked 14 points in the match - four penalties and a conversion - before being given a well earned rest six minutes before Irish referee John Lacey blew the full time whistle.
The decision by Welsh coach Davies to make 10 changes from the side that beat Samoa 22-13 on the opening day paid dividends early on with his re-energised charges quick to put their stamp on the game.
Jarvis was once again pulling the strings, helping Wales put the
all-important first points on the board after slotting two
penalties awarded following Fijian indiscretions at the breakdown.
Welsh centre Ben John ensured the pressure remained on the Pacific islanders by touching down the game's opening try in the 12th minute with Jarvis' conversion giving his side an 13-0 lead.
Another Jarvis penalty increased the advantage, before Fiji
scored their only points of the game courtesy of fly half Josh
Matavesi's penalty in the 20th minute. Wales, though,
reasserted their advantage when number 8 Morgan Allen touched down
Wales were unable to add to their 21-3 advantage in the remainder of the half and, although Jarvis kicked his fourth penalty within minutes of the restart, it would be in the dying minutes before replacement Ashley Beck scored a third try.
Their failure to pick up a bonus point in either of their matches will prove costly unless they can beat New Zealand, as Australia, South Africa, England and France in the other pools all have more points than Wales after two rounds.
POST MATCH REACTION
Wales coach Phil Davies: "It was certainly a lot better than our first run against Samoa. We got a lot more phase play structures going and our set pieces were a lot more solid in this game. We another massive game against New Zealand and hopefully we will take the momentum from this game into Sunday."
Wales captain Dan Watchurst: "Obviously they were good in the rucks, they spoilt quite a lot of our ball in the second half we were disappointed not to get the bonus point, we had the dominance in the scrum and the set piece.We felt we could have got a bit more out of the game ourselves. It's obviously building good momentum towards the New Zealand game on Sunday which we are all really looking forward to now and obviously we are going to build this week and sort out the problems we had in the second half.
"We are really excited, we are not really too worried about them we are more focused on our game. Our defence today was awesome we kept them to under 10 points which was one of our goals I think we are going to set the same goal for NZ next week which I think we can do. We know they're the champions last year but we've got no fear of them, we have built momentum through the last two games now so we are really looking forward to it."
Fiji coach Eroni Vereivalu: "I think we've got a lot of work to do in our next three days preparation against Samoa. We have to work on our set pieces, in all areas, from our rucks and mauls to our scrummage. I can see today that our scrummage today was not good and that we've got to mend it, as well as our defence. These are areas which we will have to work on in order for us to give Samoa a good game on Sunday."