Fiji 26-16 Samoa: Osborne try gives Fiji Pacific Nations Cup win and title
Fiji scored 16 unanswered second-half points to down Samoa 26-16 and claim the 2016 Pacific Nations Cup
Samoa had taken a 16-10 lead into the break thanks to Motu Matu’u’s try and Tusi Pisi’s boot
Tries from Sunia Koto and Patrick Osborne secured the win for the Fijians
Patrick Osborne scored a try in the 78th minute to give Fiji a 26-16 victory over Samoa in Suva on Saturday, which clinched their fourth successive Pacific Nations Cup title.
The eventual winners had to battle back from a 13-point deficit shortly before half-time, and managed to gain some momentum in the second half to claim their fourth consecutive title.
Samoa held a 16-3 lead shortly before halftime courtesy of flyhalf Tusi Pisi’s three penalties and a try to Motu Matu’u following a well-worked lineout move between flanker Greg Foe and the hooker.
Pisi’s touchline conversion appeared to give the visitors the momentum heading into the break.
Fiji, however, struck back in the final two minutes of the half following some powerful bursts from their big forwards with captain Sunia Koto barrelling over.
The visitors nailed three consecutive penalties, edging ahead 19-16 in the 63rd minute before a Patrick Osbourne try in the dying minutes sealed the contest for the hosts.
The Pacific Nations Cup concludes next week in Apia when Samoa host Tonga, who were beaten by Fiji 23-18 in the first game of the tournament last week.
The competition was the first stage of qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with the two best teams over 2016 and 2017 automatically advancing to the tournament in Japan.
The third-placed team meets a European side in a playoff.
Fiji: 15 Samisoni Viriviri, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Eroni Vasiteri, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Seremaia Bai, 9 Henry Seniloli, 8 Eremasi Radrodro, 7 Naulia Dawai, 6 Leone Nakarawa, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Leeroy Atalifo, 2 Sunia Koto (c), 1 Campese Maáfu
Replacements: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Taniela Koroi, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Mosese Voka, 21 Serupepeli Vularika, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Benito Masilevu
Samoa: 15 Albert Nikoro, 14 Faatoina Autagavaia, 13 Reynold Lee-Lo, 12 Faialaga Afamasaga, 11 David Lemi (c), 10 Tusiata Pisi, 9 Dwayne Polataivao, 8 Alafoti Faosiliva, 7 Greg Foe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Faatiga Lemalu, 3 James Johnston, 2 Motu Matuu, 1 Sakaria Taulafo
Replacements: 16 Maatulimanu Leiataua, 17 Sam Aiono, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Jeff Lepa, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Pelefofoga Cowley, 22 Patrick Faapale, 23 Malu Falaniko
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle (England), James Leckie (Australia)