Fiji were the dominant team for much of this match but set-piece, fitness and discipline ultimately let John McKee’s side down in the final third of the game.
The Flying Fijians made one change to the XV which started against Georgia – Viliame Mata coming in for Peceli Yato in the back row.
Ultimately it will be a World Cup of regret for the Pacific Island nation, but their final match went some way to making up for their non-performance against Uruguay two matches previously.
1. CAMPESE MA’AFU
The most capped member of Fiji’s Rugby World Cup squad struggled badly against Tomas Francis. Apparently got a knock in the warm-up. That said, the best scrum at the 2015 RWC has been off the pace in Japan.
2. SAMUEL MATAVESI
Some of the Cornish Pirates’ lineout throwing was decidedly iffy. Conceded two penalties.
(Continue reading below…)
3. MANASA SAULO
Last time he played Wales at a World Cup he ended up getting banned for 10 months for stamping. Was part of a scrum on the back foot for much of the match.
4. TEVITA CAVUBATI
‘Tex’ got needlessly sin-binned early on, which cost Fiji early. Flew up in defence and missed at least two tackles doing so. An athletic lock, but needs to tighten his discipline up.
5. LEONE NAKARAWA
Now holds the outright record for carries for Fiji in World Cup history. At the start of the game he totalled 104 carries overall in RWC games and added a further three here. Came in and out of the match.
That was a pulsating encounter ?
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 9, 2019
6. DOMINIKO WAQANIBUROTU
The skipper started against Australia, Uruguay and Georgia and got through a mountain of work here. This will be likely have been the veteran’s last World Cup.
7. SEMI KUNATANI
A yellow card for offside in the 28th minute. Stripped by Josh Navidi in contact in the 42nd minute. Not his best day in a Fiji jersey.
8. VILIAME MATA
‘Big Bill’ carried and offloaded with his trademark mix of skill, power and size.
9. FRANK LOMANI
Denied an early try, yet his remarkable defence to stop Josh Adams not once but twice that caught the eye. A crisp and fast service topped off a superb display by the Melbourne Rebel.
10. BEN VOLAVOLA
Started well but a poor attempt at contesting the ball for Adams’ try won’t sit well with the Racing 92 man. Lost the ball in contact with the Welsh line beckoning in the 65th minute. Managed the game well with his boot.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 9, 2019
11. SEMI RADRADRA
Came into match in the second period. Wales struggled to contain him, with tacklers being scattered with his every carry. He made 177 metres against Uruguay at outside centre and but here he simply didn’t get enough quality ball. If he stays in union, his future really should be at 13.
12. LEPANI BOTIA
He isn’t called ‘The Demolition Man’ for nothing. Battered Hadleigh Parkes in contact more than once. Came off early however.
13. WAISEA NAYACALEVU
An ever-dependable option in midfield, if a tad more workmanlike than some of his colleagues. The giant outside centre popped up again and again on attack and defence.
14. JOSUA TUISOVA
Came out the gate like a rodeo bull intent on destroying all in his path. He did. Frightening. Used all of his 108kg, 5’11 frame to terrify Welsh defenders. Had a ding-dong contest with the nimble feet of Adams.
15. KINI MURIMURIVALU
Not the tank-like specimen of his fellow Fiji back division, but had enough power to motor through three Welsh defenders for his first try. Kicked well.
16. MESULAME DOLOKOTO
Not on long enough to rate.
17. ERONI MAWI
Came on for the entire second half. A highly versatile player capable of playing either at loosehead prop or at No8, he was an improvement on Ma’afu.
18. PENI RAVAI
Didn’t see him carry the way we all know he can. Scrum was better in the second half.
19. APISALOME RATUNIYARAWA
Played his part at the coal face in a physical battle when he came on.
20. PECELI YATO
Caught Adams who may have been away to races after he lost a poor pass from Nakawara.
21. NIKOLA MATAWALU
Registered a pair of tries in the 30-27 defeat by Uruguay in Fiji’s second match at RWC 2019. He can be an electric player, but Fiji lost all tempo when he came on thanks to the languidity of his passing service.
22. JALE VATUBUA
The big Pau centre came on early and left an impression. Fell off a tackle on Jonathan Davies that resulted in a try.
23. JOSH MATAVESI
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now