For the second time in the space of five days Fiji and Tonga couldn't be separated on the pitch in the Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy 2017, the second leg ending in a draw just as the first had earlier in the week.

This time, the score was 26-26 after Tonga scored a try five minutes from time through Tevita Kavafonoatu with Nautu'a Netane Masima adding the conversion to level the scores.

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With the first leg last Tuesday having ended all square at 15-15, the winner was determined on competition points with Fiji declared the winner by virtue of the try bonus point they secured for their four-try haul in Saturday's match at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

As Oceania champions, Fiji have confirmed their place at the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2018.

They will be joined in that eight-team tournament by Samoa, the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2016 winners who were relegated from the U20 Championship after finishing bottom in Georgia earlier this year. 

The remaining six places will be filled by regional qualifiers over the coming months.

Tonga had raced into a 10-0 lead with tries from Tevita Ngalumaa and Litani Pakalani, but it was the home side who went in with a slender 14-13 advantage after Peniasi Ratu converted both his own try and that of Ratu Meli Derenalagi. 

Fiji increased that lead to 26-13 with further tries for Timoci Tavanavanua and Veramu Dikidikilati, but two penalties from Masima kept Tongan hopes alive before Kavafonoatu's late try.

In the end, though, their comeback proved in vain with Fiji being crowned champions. 

Photos: Oceania Rugby