Wales 32-26 Fiji Despite a late fightback, Warren Gatland’s side prevails

Wales (18) 32
Tries: Adams, North, Rees-Zammit, Dee Cons: Biggar 3 Pens: Biggar 2
Fiji (14) 26
Tries: Nayacalevu, Tagitagivalu, Tuisova, Doge Cons: Lomani 2, Tela

In Bordeaux, Wales held off a late Fiji fightback to win the World Cup opener.

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Josh Adams, George North, Louis-Rees-Zammit and Elliot Dee scored tries for Wales to lead 32-14.

Waisea Nayacalevu and Lekima Tagitagivalu replied for Fiji before Josua Tuisova and Mesake Doge scored late tries to worry Wales.

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In the final play of the game, Wales centre Semi Radradra dropped the ball with the Wales try line at his mercy.

Fiji defeated Wales 38-34 in Nantes in 2007, but this time the men in red were the ones celebrating with fly-half Dan Biggar named man of the match after kicking 12 points.

Compared to Fiji’s 70 tackles, Wales made 248.

On Saturday, Australia defeated Georgia in Pool C’s opening match, giving Wales a boost in their bid for quarterfinal qualification.

On Saturday, Wales will face Portugal in Nice before playing Australia in Lyon on 24 September and Georgia in Nantes 13 days later.

Wales has a stormy start, but Fiji bounces back

Despite having talked about doing the basics right, Wales had a storming start with locks Adam Beard and Will Rowlands.

The kick-off was caught by Beard and Rowlands forced a turnover penalty, which Biggar converted.

The Welshman, who became only the fifth player to play in a fourth World Cup, then sliced through the Fijian defense.

With the ball moved left, Adams crossed for his seventh try of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Though Wales were buoyed by their opening start, they also overplayed twice in their own half and were punished by Fiji captain Nayacalevu.

As the centre powered through the attempted tackle from Toulon team-mate Biggar and flanker Aaron Wainwright, he galvanized his side and Frank Lomani converted.

Nayacalevu and Radradra were responsible for the second score with searing midfield breaks to release Tagitagivalu.

In vain, Fiji fights back

After Wales had been warned for persistent offending, replacement prop Corey Domachowski was shown a yellow card for a professional foul.

Wales found themselves under incessant late pressure as Gatland’s side avoided another yellow card in the closing moments. Fiji took advantage, with Tuisova powering over to set up an enthralling conclusion.

Fiji had a final attacking opportunity after a loose Liam Williams kick denied Doge a try before he burrowed over.

The overlap seemed perfect for Radradra, but the former Bristol player lost heart when he spilled possession and missed out on a try that would have helped Fiji win.

After a breathless finish, both sides fell to their knees, with Wales as relieved as pleased to win.

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