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WAL 32-26 FIJ: Wales hold on to edge Fiji in classic

Wales resist a thrilling Fiji fightback to launch their Pool C campaign with a bonus-point win in a pulsating contest at Stade de Bordeaux.

BORDEAUX – Wales opened their Rugby World Cup 2023 campaign with a nail-biting 32-26 win over Pool C opponents Fiji in front of 41,274 mostly Welsh supporters at Stade de Bordeaux.

The opening half saw both sides score two tries apiece with Josh Adams crossing first for Wales before Fiji hit back with scores from captain Waisea Nayacalevu and flanker Lekima Tagitagivalu, George North putting the Welsh back in front near the half-hour mark.

Wales might have felt fortunate to enter the break 18-14 in front as they spent most of the opening period defending in their own half, while Fiji were left rueing errors that prevented them converting their sustained pressure into points.

The second half opened to more errors from Fiji as Louis Rees-Zammit scored in the 48th minute, allowing Dan Biggar to convert and stretch Wales’ lead to 11 points.

A yellow card in the 64th minute for Fiji’s Lekima Tagitagivalu was immediately followed by a Welsh try to substitute Elliot Dee which appeared to put the outcome beyond doubt but a late resurgence from Fiji saw Peni Ravai cross and only a Semi Radradra knock-on in the dying seconds allowed Wales to cling on for the win.

 

BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 10: Waisea Nayacalevu of Fiji leads the Cibi during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Fiji at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 10, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by World Rugby – Handout/World Rugby via Getty Images)
BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 10: George North of Wales and Vinaya Habosi of Fiji compete to make the catch during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Fiji at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 10, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 10: Selesitino Ravutaumada of Fiji breaks forward on the ball ahead of Josh Adams of Wales during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Fiji at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 10, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
BORDEAUX, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 10: Ryan Elias of Wales is tackled whilst running with the ball during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Fiji at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on September 10, 2023 in Bordeaux, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)
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