Fijiana survive scare from South Africa to win 21-17 in dying seconds

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Fiji celebrate their first ever Women's Rugby World Cup victory
Fiji celebrate their first ever Women's Rugby World Cup victory today - 21-17 over higher ranked South Africa. Image: Rugby World Cup

By Alipate Narawa

The Fijiana 15s defeated 13th ranked South Africa 21-17 today to get their first win at the Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Fiji struck first through winger Ilisapeci Delaiwau in the 12th minute after some broken play and her try was successfully converted by Lavena Cavuru.

A couple of missed opportunities where the 16th ranked Fijiana could have extended their lead, but luckily the South Africans were not able to capitalise on this.

Zintle Mpupha sliced through the Fijiana defence and dotted down between the sticks making the conversion easy for Janse van Rensburg to level the score.

Akanisi Sokoiwasa cruised over for a try on the stroke of half-time with Cavuru getting the conversion to take a 14-7 lead at the break.

In the 59th minute, South Africa won a penalty and they powered over on their second attempt after recycling the ball quickly with Aseza Hele diving over to level the score 14-all.

Janse van Rensburg struck with a penalty goal to give the South Africans the lead with 40 seconds left, but the Fijianas had the last say with No 8 Karalaini Naisewa brushing aside the defence to score under the sticks.

Fijiana will face France at Northland Events Centre, Whangarei, next Saturday at 6.15pm in their final pool game.

Alipate Narawa is a Fiji Village reporter.

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