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Fiji rewrites history books, records biggest upset ever

MATCH REPORT: Fiji has caused one of the greatest upsets in rugby history beating England for the first time ever by 30-22 in a World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham on Saturday.

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These two nations have been playing each other since 1988 and the ninth ranked Fiji has never beaten the Red Roses.

Twickenham, Englands’ home, was the temple of doom when the final whistle blew. It was party time for the men in white, and it wasn’t England.

Trailing by 22-30 and five minutes on the clock, England had to score twice to sneak a victory. They attacked from all angles, but the Fiji defence stood strong until they won the ball and kicked it out.

Clearly the turmoil in the England camp continues under new coach Steve Borthwick, who only had the services of 24 players out of the original World Cup squad of 33 available.

It was an heroic performance by Fiji, without a doubt the greatest in the history of rugby in their country.

The Flying Fijians took 20 minutes to find their feet and then they started to assert their ascendancy.

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England got the first try after a strong scrum, Jonny May got over the advantage line, cutting through some weak Fiji defence and finally broke Englands’ try drought since the Six Nations.

The visitors almost got their first try through pure brilliance by Selesitino Ravutaumada, cutting England defence to ribbons to send his captain Waisea Nayacalevu away. Unfortunately the pass was forward and the try was not given.

But Fiji ‘s confidence grew as the game went on, especially as they were standing strong in the set-pieces, an area they normally struggle in.

The team playing all the rugby was in white – Flying Fijian white.

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Al their tries were scored in magnificent fashion while England’s lack of discipline was at the heart of their loss.

Fiji and England both managed to score three tries each but it was the accurate boot of Caleb Muntz that clinched it for the visitors. He was cool, calculated and managed to put big men like Semi Radradra and Vinaya Habosi into the gaps.

In the end Fiji ran hard, strong and full confidence at England, while the home-side got rattled and made too many mistakes.

Coach Simon Raiwalui and his Fijians has sent a massive World Cup warning with this performance.

Scorers:

For England:
Tries: May, Smith, Marchant
Cons: Ford 2
Pens: Ford

For Fiji:
Tries: Nayacalevu, Habosi, Kuruvoli
Cons: Muntz 3
Pens: Muntz 3

Yellow cards: Eroni Mawi (for Fiji, 38’ for cynical play)

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Max Malins, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Courtney Lawes (Captain), 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Theo Dan, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Danny Care, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Joe Marchant.

Fiji: 15 Ilaisa Droasese, 14 Selesitino Ravutaumada, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu (c), 12 Semi Radradra, 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Lekima Tagitagivalu, 6 Albert Tuisue, 5 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidveta, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Luke Tagi, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Zuriel Togiatama, 17 Jone Koroiduadua, 18 Samu Tawake, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Simione Kuruvoli, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Kalaveti Ravouvou

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Pierre Brousset (France) & Hollie Davidson (Scotland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

 

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