Two tries from Rupeni Vakasilimini and a late score from replacement Josaia Raboiliku saw Fiji U20s overcome Tonga 19-10 in the deciding match of the Oceania Junior Rugby Trophy at the ANZ Stadium in Suva
Vakasilimi scored an eighth minute try to get Fiji’s first points on the board, before Tonga responded with a penalty from Patelesio Oneone at the start of the second quarter.
Oneone had a chance to put Tonga in front on 34 minutes but his penalty attempt went wide and it was Fiji who went into the break holding a slender advantage.
Vakasilimi struck again soon after the restart with a second try, which Peceli Nacebe was able to improve for a 12-3 lead.
A late tackle from Vasikali Mudu saw Fiji reduced to 14 men, and while Tonga were unable to capitalise during the 10-minute period he was off the field they did manage to breach the Fijian defence with eight minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish.
Winger Sunia Latu's try, however, was soon followed by a yellow card to Lisiate Huihui and Fiji took advantage when Raboiliku crossed the line.to make the game safe with two minutes remaining.
Fiji and Tonga had set up the winner takes all match after comprehensive wins over Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu in the earlier rounds of the competition. PNG ran in 14 tries against Vanuatu to win 80-7 and finish the round robin event in third place.
Fiji finished fifth in the U20 Trophy earlier this year after being relegated from the U20 Championship in 2014. They will join hosts Zimbabwe, South American champions Uruguay, African champions Namibia, European champions Spain and Samoa, the side relegated from the U20 Championship in June, in the U20 Trophy in 2016. The remaining two places will be filled by a North American and Asian representative.
Oceania Rugby Junior Trophy results:
Round 1: Tonga 81-0 Vanuatu, Fiji 63-0 Papua New Guinea
Round 2: Tonga 55-16 Papua New Guinea, Fiji 109-6 Vanuatu
Round 3: Fiji 19-10 Tonga, Papua New Guinea 80-7 Vanuatu
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