Oceania success for Fiji and Samoa Juniors

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 1 September 2009
 Oceania success for Fiji and Samoa Juniors
Kaino Fuatonga enjoyed an outstanding match for hosts Samoa - Photo: Oceaniarugby.com

Samoa and Fiji both enjoyed victories against Tonga and Vanuatu on the third day of the Oceania Under 19 Championship.

The Samoans have now beaten both Fiji and Tonga, while the Fijians earlier edged the Tongans 9-8, meaning that Samoa will play against Fiji in the grand final this weekend.

Samoa 13-11 Tonga

Samoa were made to work hard for their second home victory in an attritional game against the powerful Tongans.

Captain and prop Viliamu Afatia scored to put them 5-0 ahead on 26 minutes, but Patrick Makaafi struck with a well taken penalty goal four minutes later for Tonga to narrow the lead to just two points, which is how things stayed until half time.

Shortly after the break, home fly half Karl Malielegaoi kicked a penalty and on 23 minutes Sani Niue's try appeared to put the tight match beyond the Tongans at 13-3.

However, on 70 minutes Makaafi cut the deficit to seven points and, with just four minutes to play, Tonga captain Seilame Tukuafu scored a try. The tough conversion was missed, leaving Samoa with a final frantic few minutes to hold on to their two-point lead, which they duly managed.

Fiji 89-3 Vanuatu

In the day's other match Fiji ran out convincing winners against Vanuatu, 89-3, with eleven different players contributing tries.

Centre Virimi Vakatawa inspired them to a 44-0 half time lead with three inside the first 40 minutes, and they kept up the good work after the break.

Full back Iliesa Ratuva and flank forward Penaia Nawelulu each scored a brace as the IRB Junior World Championship-bound side hammered home its authority.

Vanuatu's three points came from a penalty goal scored in the 75th minute by fly half Lawrenzo Kunro Kalo.

While Samoa take on Fiji for the regional champions title, PNG will play Vanuatu for Oceania's sole berth at next year's IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Full match schedule

24 Aug 2009
3:00pm - Fiji 22-34 Samoa

28 Aug 2009
4:00pm - Tonga 8-9 Fiji

31 Aug 2009
2:00pm - Fiji 89-3 Vanuatu
4:00pm - Tonga 11-13 Samoa

4 Sep 2009
2:00pm - Papua New Guinea v Vanuatu
4:00pm - Samoa v Fiji

* All matches to be played at Apia Park, Samoa
** All match times Samoa local time (BST -12 hrs)

For more details go to Oceaniarugby.com