Fiji survive scare to see off Georgia and close in on quarter-final spot

Fiji fought back to beat Georgia 17-12 in Bordeaux and move closer to a World Cup quarter-final place.

But Fiji’s failure to claim a bonus point keeps Australia’s slim hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.

The South Sea Islanders will claim a quarter-final spot – probably against England – by beating Portugal next weekend.

Georgia’s opportunism and brilliant defence gave them a surprise nine-point lead at the break.

Luka Matkava opened the scoring, with the boot of Davit Niniashvili adding six points from long range.

It was the first time Fiji had gone into the interval scoreless in a Test in six years.

Fiji finally got on the scoreboard six minutes into the second half as skipper Waisea Nayacalevu produced a brilliant finish under pressure to sneak over in the corner.

Frank Lomani added a difficult conversion and, strengthened by the return of Semi Radradra from the sin bin, Fiji piled on the pressure.

Lomani’s penalty gave them the lead for the first time with 15 minutes remaining.

Three minutes later Levani Botia charged through a gap and found Vinaya Habosi, who sprinted over unopposed.

Lomani landed the conversion but there was more drama in the final minute as Josua Tuisova was sent to the sin bin for making head contact on Miriani Modebadze.

Matkava kicked his second penalty and Fiji survived from the final play of the game when Niniashvili broke down the left and kicked ahead, only for Ilaisa Droasese, behind his line, to hack the ball to safety.

Fiji v Georgia - Match Stats

Fiji (0) 17
Try: Nayacalevu (51'), Habosi (68')
Conversion: Lomani (52', 69')
Penalty: Lomani (65')

Georgia (9) 12
Penalty: Matkava (5', 80'), Niniashvili (19', 31')

Man of the match: Levani Botia (Fiji)

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