June 16, 2018 / 5:55 AM / 5 months ago

Radradra impressive as Fiji win Pacific Nations Cup

FILE PHOTO: Tim Fletcher of the UAE fights for the ball against Semi Radradra of Fiji during their Sevens World Series rugby match at The Sevens stadium in Dubai, December 2, 2011. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

(Reuters) - Rugby league convert Semi Radradra made an immediate impact on his union test debut as he helped Fiji win their fourth successive Pacific Nations Cup title with a 37-15 triumph over Georgia on Saturday.

Fiji won both of their games in the four-team tournament, beating Samoa 24-22 last week, to clinch the title ahead of Tonga, who earlier beat the Samoans 28-18 in Suva.

Radradra, who played rugby league for both Australia and Fiji, proved a major handful for the Georgian midfield as he cut through them at will and set up field position before grabbing his first test try in the 83rd minute.

He also set up Henry Seniloli’s second try in the first half but was earlier guilty of a poor pass to the same player after a similar linebreak that caused the scrumhalf to drop the ball.

Seniloli’s first try and inside centre Jale Vatuba’s early second half score came from some surprising scrum pressure by the home side on the Europeans, who are renowned for their forward play, but were dominated up front for much of the game.

Replacement scrumhalf Frank Lomani also scored two tries in the second half, the first following a tackle-busting run by Nemani Nadolo before he finished off a sweeping counter-attack that showcased the ‘flying Fijians’ at their best.

Radradra ended his highly promising debut when he smashed through two defenders on the tryline long after the final hooter had sounded.

Georgia flanker Viktor Kolelishvili and winger Alexander Todua scored first half tries for the Europeans, who took a 15-10 lead into the break but were held scoreless in the second half.

Fiji will face Tonga in Lautoka next week, which is not part of the Pacific Nations Cup tournament, while Georgia play 2019 World Cup hosts Japan at Toyota Stadium in Aichi.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John O'Brien

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