Flying Fijians went down 34-17 to France in their Rugby World Cup warm-up test match in Nantes Sunday.
The host mounted pressure from the beginning and took early control of the game. Les Bleus opened up a 16-3 advantage through Peato Mauvaka’s try and three Melvyn Jaminet penalties.
Caleb Muntz got the first three points for Fiji before Tevita Ikanivere scored a try to close the gap on the scoreboard. Muntz successfully added two extra points. Uini Atonio scored a try in the 39th minute as France rested with a lead of 21-10 lead at the breather.
Flying Fijians tried to fight back and gain some points on the scoreboard. With replacement coming into the field of play in the second spell added more firepower to our attack. With the help of the forwards, FIJI Water Flying Fijians captain Semi Radradra divided over for Fiji’s second try.
The Flying Fijians were competing well with the World Cup hosts but a well-read pass from Frank Lomani put the result beyond doubt.
Lomani was looking to move the ball into midfield off a lineout but it was easily read by Sekou Macalou, who intercepted and sauntered across the whitewash unopposed.
Jaminet converted for a second time and then kicked a fifth three-pointer with 10 minutes remaining to seal the win.
Flying Fijians Head Coach Simon Raiwalui said France was a tough team on the day and came out with all guns blazing in front of the jam-packed crowd in Nantes.
“France is always a tough team and they put us under pressure in the areas like breakdown and turnovers. There were a lot of good things we did in the game but then we need to get better from here onwards” said Raiwalui.
Flying Fijians prop Jone Koroiduadua earned his first cap after coming in as a replacement in the second half.
Raiwalui congratulated Koroiduadua for this achievement and said “he played extremely well and gave his best shot for the spell of time he was on the field.”
Koroiduadua thanked the Flying Fijians management and players for their support throughout the week.
“I’m blessed to be part of the Flying Fijians squad and I would like to thank the god, the coaches and players who believed in him and helped me in my role. I’m looking forward to playing many more games for Flying Fijians” said Koroiduadua.