Scotland faced Fiji at Aussie Stadium on 1 November, 2003 determined to maintain a proud record at Rugby World Cups.
The Six Nations side had reached the quarter-finals in each of the previous four tournaments but following wins over Japan and the USA in Pool B, a 51-9 defeat to France had left them with work to do.
Fiji had also beaten the USA, by a single point, and Japan and had lost to France. However, the match against Les Bleus acted as a coming-out party for star winger Rupeni Caucaunibuca, whose brilliant solo try briefly gave the Fijians hope of a famous win.
Caucaunibuca had not been used against either Japan or the USA and was clearly fresh as the match against Scotland got under way in Sydney.
Less than 13 minutes was on the clock when the flying winger broke the deadlock, having sped down the left wing and brushed off two Scottish tacklers to score in the corner.
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Scotland fly-half Chris Paterson cut the deficit to 7-6 with half an hour played, but Caucaunibuca would make another telling contribution before half-time.
This time the winger picked up the ball just outside his own 22, put his head down, shimmied past one tackle and breezed into open space. Caucaunibuca evaded a desperate attempt to stop him by Scotland winger Simon Danielli before dotting the ball down close to the posts.
It gave Fiji a 14-6 lead at the break but Paterson replied with three penalties in the opening 20 minutes of the second-half to edge Scotland in front for the first time.
Fiji fly-half Nicky Little responded with two penalties of his own, however, to give the Pacific Islanders a 20-15 advantage with just five minutes left on the clock.
Scotland drive over
Time was against Scotland but when Api Naevo was sent to the sin-bin they had a lifeline. The resulting penalty was kicked to the corner, and from the lineout prop Tom Smith was driven over for the try that tied the scores.
Paterson now had the chance to win the match from the kicking tee, and he held his nerve to send his conversion sailing through the uprights.
"It was very close. It shows you have to dig deep in games like these," Scotland captain Bryan Redpath said afterwards.
"But credit for Fiji, they got two chances in the first half and that man Caucau just killed us.
"When there were any turnovers they got the ball out to the danger man, and he is one of the best wingers around. Fiji were exceptional.”
Scotland would lose to hosts and eventual finalists Australia, 33-16, in the quarter-finals in what proved to be coach Ian McGeechan’s final match in charge.
Having come so close to the last eight, Fiji would end their wait for a quarter-final place in France four years later.