Wales outside-half Nick Robinson slotted over a late drop goal to clinch a dramatic victory over Fiji at the Millennium Stadium. The Cardiff Blues outside-half struck five minutes from time to make sure a makeshift Wales team returned to winning ways following their loss to New Zealand.
Captain Michael Owen also scored a try but it was not until Robinson landed his kick that Fiji were denied a first ever victory over Wales having led for most of the game. However the result gets Wales back to winning ways with the prospect of South Africa coming to Cardiff next Saturday.
It was always going to be tough for Wales who had made 11 changes to the team beaten 41-3 in Cardiff by the All Blacks less than a week earlier. Both sides missed early chances to take a grip on the game with Fiji centre Julian Vulakoro and Robinson missing five penalties between them in the first half.
Wales dominated possession but Martyn Williams saw two scoring chances slip from his grasp in the space of three minutes. Lively centre Matthew Watkins went close to the left corner, Robinson switched direction but Williams could not pick Rhys Thomas's delightful flicked pass off his boot laces. Moments later and he could not hold onto Parker's scoring pass either.
But as the prospect of a remarkable scoreless first 40 minutes neared, Fiji broke to break the deadlock a minute before half-time with a stunning try. No.8 Sisa Koyamaibole launched the attack from the back of a scrum inside Fiji's half and lock Ifereimi Rawaqa finished under the posts for a 7-0 lead at half-time.
That was extended soon after the break when Fiji's outside-half Seremaia Bai took over the kicking duties and converted a drop goal on 55 minutes. Wales grew increasingly frustrated as Byrne saw his try ruled out for a knock-on before Robinson finally registered points with a 58th-minute penalty.
Under increasing pressure, Fiji lock Isoa Domolailai was sin-binned for a professional foul and Wales made their advantage count at a scrum. A collective shove saw Owen touch down but Robinson missed the conversion and Wales still trailed by two. But with time running out Robinson hit back to seal victory for Wales.
|PENK 60 Min (Robinson)
TRY 66 Min (Owen)
DROP G 76 Min (Robinson)
|TRY 40 Min (Rawaqa)
CONV 40 Min (Vulakoro)
DROP G 56 Min (Bai)
YELC 65 Min (Domolailai)
Replacements: H Bennett (Ospreys), A Jones (Ospreys), R Sidoli (Blues), A Popham (Scarlets), R Sowden-Taylor (Blues), M Phillips (Blues), C Sweeney (Dragons)
Fiji: N Ligairi (Secom, Japan); M Luveitasau (Naitasiri), E Ruivadra (World, Japan), J Vulakoro (Suva), S Bobo (Biarritz); S Bai (Secom), M Rauluni (Saracens, capt); J Bale (Suva), S Koto (Ovalau), A Nagi (Lautoka), I Rawaqa (World, Japan), I Domolailai (Northland), A Doviverata (Yamaha), S Koyamaibole (Taranaki), A Ratuva (Agen)
Replacements: V Gadolo (Suva), T Matawalu (Nadroga), K Leawere (Nadroga), K Salabogi (Nadroga), M Volavola (Nadroga), A Vata (Ovalau), K Ratuvou (Tailevu)