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Published: Tue, July 18, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Fiji win hands Tonga WC spot

Fiji win hands Tonga WC spot

Tonga qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan without having to play on Saturday after a hat-trick of tries from scrumhalf Henry Seniloli helped Fiji to a 38-16 win over Samoa in Apia.

As the Oceania 1 qualifier, Fiji will be in Pool D against Australia, Wales, Georgia and the Americas 2 qualifier, while Tonga will have to take their chance against England, France, Argentina and the United States in Pool C - the "pool of death".

Seniloli's hat-trick and tries from centre Jale Vatubua and lock Api Ratuniyarawa ensured the Fijians went unbeaten in the Pacific Nations tournament and finished on 17 points.

Tonga had six points after upsetting Samoa two weeks ago and after taking a bonus point from last weekend's 14-10 loss to Fiji.

Tusi Pisi's conversion levelled the scores, but Fiji responded with a wonderful counter-attack with full-back Timoci Nagusa prominent and Senioli crossed for his second try of the match. "We were too narrow in the first half and we gave away penalties that kept Samoa in the game", said Fiji coach John McKee.

Fiji's fourth win in a row continued a fine run of form in June and July internationals in which they accounted for Scotland and Italy. Volavola kicked six goals from six attempts, converting all of Fiji's tries and a penalty from 55 metres.

"Of course we have also qualified for RWC 2019 and we will now focus on that".

The third-placed team then faces a playoff against a European side, with the losing team entering the repechage tournament.

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