Penalty tries no help to Italy

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iol spt mar15 Rugby ball Supplied

Suva, Fiji - Fiji conjured up a strong second-half comeback to down Italy 25-14 despite their overwhelmed forward pack conceding two penalty tries in Suva Saturday.

Italy were ahead 7-5 at half-time thanks to their first penalty try when Fiji collapsed a defensive scrum early in the match.

The only other time the Six Nations side were able to capitalise on their dominant forward effort was with their second gifted try from another scrum collapse late in the game.

In between it was Fiji's ability to move the ball at pace that dictated the terms with only repeated handling errors keeping the margin close.

Canterbury Crusaders robust winger Nemani Nadolo scored Fiji's only try in the first half when he rampaged through the Italian defence.

In the second half, Fijian flanker Dominiko Waqaniburotu opened the game up with a 40-metre run to the line to give the home side the lead for the first time.

Fly-half Jonetani Ralulu added the conversion and Nadolo landed two penalties to push Fiji out to a comfortable 18-7 lead before Italy narrowed the gap to four points with their second penalty try.

On the stroke of full-time, Fiji's left winger Napolioni Nalaga scored their third try with Nadolo landing a sideline conversion.

The match served as a warm-up for Fiji before they play their opening Pacific Nations Cup match next weekend against Tonga who drew 18-18 with Samoa early Saturday.

Italy head to Apia to play Samoa next weekend.


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