Seven first-half tries set Fiji Warriors on the way to an emphatic 57-7 defeat of Tonga A and a third successive World Rugby Pacific Challenge title in Suva on Saturday.
The Warriors recorded three bonus point wins to claim the title with a maximum 15 points, five clear of Junior Japan who finished as runners-up for the second year in a row following a 29-21 victory over Samoa A in the day's opening match.
Champions! Congratulations to @fijirugby Warriors who have won the World Rugby Pacific Challenge for the third consecutive year after beating Tonga A 57 -7 in the final round #PacificChallengepic.twitter.com/pErzHcHpCM— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) 17 March 2018
Samoa A finished third with five points with Tonga A propping up the standings with a solitary point.
FIJI WARRIORS 57-7 TONGA A
Full-back Inia Tawalo opened the scoring at ANZ Stadium before number eight Albert Tuisue crossed for a brace to put the Warriors in control of the match.
Second-row Tevita Ratuva added his name to the scoreboard with the bonus-point try before the half-hour mark and the Warriors, who have now won the Pacific Challenge eight times in its 11-year history, went in leading 43-0 at the break after quick-fire tries by winger Veramu Dikidikilati, centre Waisale Urabuta and prop Luke Tagi.
The score remained that way until nearly the hour mark when fly-half Seru Vularika crossed for the Warriors' eighth try to the delight of the home crowd, his conversion bringing up the half century of points.
Tonga A did briefly halt the tide of Warriors' points when centre Fetuli Paea scored their only try, but the home side had the final say when Urabuta crossed for his second of the match in the dying minutes.
SAMOA A 21-29 JUNIOR JAPAN
The battle for second place in the standings was a close one with Junior Japan only making certain of victory at the death with number eight Tevita Tatafu's second try of the match.
Tatafu, who had scored a hat-trick in round one against Tonga A, opened the scoring in the first quarter against the Samoans, but that lead proved short-lived as tries from scrum-half Melani Matavao and winger Johny Vaili put their side ahead.
Winger Nicholas Hohua crossed for a second try for Junior Japan, but the missed conversion meant they went in trailing 14-12 at half-time.
Within a minute of the restart full-back Koga Nezuka had given Junior Japan the lead for the second time in the match.
Both sides then lost a player to sin-bin in centre Siosaia Fifita and hooker Gafa Suva and while they were off the pitch Junior Japan increased their lead with a penalty by Yuto Mori.
Samoa A were still down a man when winger Noel Sanft crossed to cut the deficit to 22-21, but there was to be no comeback victory for the Pacific Islanders as Tatafu eased Japanese nerves with his second of the match to secure the win and the bonus point.
Photos: Kitione Rokomanu/Zoomfiji
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