Rugby World Cup: Fiji beat Cook Islands to qualify for England opener at Twickenham

Last Updated: 28/06/14 1:45pm

  • Share:
The Fiji team celebrate after qualifying for the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup

The Fiji team celebrate after qualifying for the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup

Sky Bet

Fiji will play England in the opening game of next year’s Rugby World Cup at Twickenham after running in 17 tries in a whopping 108-6 demolition job on the Cook Islands.

The Cooks Islands actually led 6-5 after almost half an hour in Saturday’s final Oceania regional qualifying match, as Fiji produced a number of handling errors.

However, the home side soon clicked into gear, with 11 different players crossing the whitewash for tries as the world No 46 side got ripped apart at will.

The reward for Fiji making the World Cup for the seventh time in eight tournaments is a place in Pool A in the tournament alongside hosts England, Wales, Australia and a qualifier.

Fiji also have the honour of opening up the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham against England.

Centre Nemani Nadolo scored three tries, while Matuisela Talebula, Adriu Delai, Nikola Matawalu and Timoci Nagusa all ran in twice.

Nemia Kenatale, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Watisoni Votu, Akapusi Qera, Leroy Atalifo and Dominiko Waqaniburotu added to the scoreline with tries of their own.

Massive win

"We knew the Cook Islands would come at us in the forwards in the first 20 minutes," said Fiji captain Akapusi Qera. "We expected that and we managed to compensate and come out with the win.

"It's a big game for us as a team and as a nation. It's a big thing for a rugby player growing up to qualify for the Rugby World Cup and that's what motivated us in the second half."

Cook Islands captain Stan Wright admitted his team were outclassed as Fiji inflicted their heaviest ever international defeat on them after 13 second half tries.

"As you can see by the scoreline it was a hard game and we were simply outclassed by a better side," Wright said. "The gap between the elite and us showed out there today and we've got quite a bit of ground to cover to get up to their level.

"We're not a big nation and we need more guys putting their hands up to play for the Cook Islands because we lack depth and we need more players."

  • Share:

Related

Rugby World Cup 2015

George Gregan: Proud to have been entrusted with the Rugby World Cup's safety in the Blue Mountains

Gregan glory

Wallaby legend offers Sky Sports an exclusive, in-depth look ahead to the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Wales and Lions captain Sam Warburton at Twickenham watching the Marriott Sevens

Warburton's World Cup focus

Wales captain Sam Warburton talks to Sky Sports about Olympic sevens and next year's 15-man World Cup.

London's City Hall: 500 days to go until RWC 2015

RWC ticket sale dates revealed

England Rugby 2015 have announced that tickets for the World Cup will go on general sale in September.

Most Popular

Features

The Off Load

The Off Load

Rupert Cox looks back at the weekend's rugby, including the 'boring' All Blacks and the five-star Ospreys

Bok to front

Bok to front

South Africa will win up front against Australia but they must stifle the backs, says Thinus Delport.

The Off Load

The Off Load

Rupert Cox reviews the weekend's rugby including the Ospreys smashing Edinburgh and Connacht's win over Leinster.