Fiji move a step closer to Rugby World Cup qualification

Fiji power past Samoa in the second round of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship to boost their chances of Rugby World Cup 2021 qualification, while the Black Ferns Development XV rack up another half-century.

Fiji's quest to qualify for a first Rugby World Cup moved a step closer after they beat Samoa 26-7 on day two of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship 2019 in Lautoka on Friday.

Samoa have graced the showpiece event of the women's game on three occasions – in 2002, 2006 and 2014 – and started the better of the two teams at Churchill Park.

The two sides went in locked at 7-7 at half-time, though, with Lavenia Tinai's try cancelling out a 50-metre effort from Samoa’s Apaau Mailau.

Fijiana came into the second half with a much more structured approach and were clinical in 'the red zone'.

A clean break and offload from first-half try-scorer Tinai enabled Pricilla Siata to have a clear run to the line before Mela Matanatabu crossed for her side's third.

Fiji continued to pile the pressure on Samoa, and in the dying minutes, Ada Dansey crashed her way through several players to secure the try bonus point.

The performance left Fijiana head coach Alifereti Doviverata more than satisfied. 

"Super-proud"

"We came here for a win and the girls did just that, they executed our structure well which got us what we wanted today, a win," he said.

The two sides are expected to meet again on the tournament's final day with a place at RWC 2021 in New Zealand the prize for the winner.

Papua New Guinea, beaten 65-12 by Samoa on Monday, sat out round two following the withdrawal of Tonga on medical grounds which has resulted in a change to the qualification pathway for the region.

In the day's other match, the Blacks Ferns Development XV ran in eight unanswered tries to beat Australia A 50-0, keeping the opposition scoreless for the second match running to the delight of captain Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu.

"I'm really proud of the girls, the execution was really good and I'm just super-proud of the effort," she said.

The Black Ferns Development XV dominated the opening half, racing out to a 26-0 lead at the break with hooker Luka Connor touching down twice at the back of a powerful maul. Further tries from full-back Olivia McGoverne and debutant back-row Ilisapeta Molia added to Australia A's woes.

Despite playing with the wind the Wallaroos hopefuls were unable to wrestle momentum back and they conceded three further tries after the break. Prop Leilani Perese crashed over twice, doubling her tally for the tournament in the process, and she was joined on the scoresheet by  Martha Lolohea and centre Kilisitina Moata'ane.

US Women's Eagles player Tess Feury (centre)
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Women's Eagles star nursing the sick in New Jersey
We highlight more members of the rugby family working tirelessly to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Women's Eagles player Tess Feury.
Guatemala v El Salvador
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
Guatemala and El Salvador make history
The women's teams of Guatemala and El Salvador played their first international match earlier this month, breaking new ground in their respective countries.
Rugby Europe Trophy 2020: Germany v Switzerland
Men's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Swiss build for a sustainable future
Rugby Suisse CEO Veronika Muehlhofer says there is more to the success of rugby in the country than a record World Rugby Men’s Ranking of 28th.
Filoi Eneliko
Olympics Women's Feature News GIR Olympic Qualifying Tournament News Women in Rugby
Eneliko standing up for women in the Pacific
Former Samoa sevens player Filoi Eneliko discusses the reasons behind her decision to participate in the inaugural Women's Sport Leadership Academy for High Performance Coaches.
Nathalie Amiel - HOF 1
Women's Feature News Hall of Fame Tournament News Women in Rugby
Nathalie Amiel: The 'country girl' turned Hall of Fame inductee
Former France international and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Nathalie Amiel, who won 56 caps and experienced five Rugby World Cups as a player and a coach, discusses her incredible career in the game.
World Rugby logo
Media release Women's News Women in Rugby
World Rugby extends Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarships programme after global success
Ahead of International Women’s Day, World Rugby has announced an extension of its Women’s Executive Leadership Scholarship programme.
Aimee Barrett-Theron
Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Barrett-Theron 'excited for women's rugby' following Euro trip'
South African referee Aimee Barrett-Theron caught up with World Rugby following her recent experience in the Women's Six Nations.
Papua New Guinea v Tonga - RWC 2021 qualifier
Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Tonga keep RWC 2021 dream alive
Tonga battled past Papua New Guinea to set up a play-off with Samoa for a place in the Rugby World Cup 2021 repechage.
Black Ferns Development XV v Papua New Guinea
Women's Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Proud Cassowaries ready for historic test
Papua New Guinea are preparing to face Tonga in a Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifier – the first women's test to be played in the country – and they have a new nickname to mark the occasion.
Berta García coaching
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby
García using experience to grow Spanish rugby
Former Spain international Berta García talks to World Rugby about her coaching ambitions and hopes for the women's game in her homeland.