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. 


"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.

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