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Fiji player ratings vs Portugal | Rugby World Cup 2023

By Josh Raisey
Waisea Nayacalevu of Fiji reacts during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Fiji and Portugal at Stadium de Toulouse on October 08, 2023 in Toulouse, France. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Fiji qualified for the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in the most unspectacular fashion possible on Sunday night in Toulouse, as they slumped to a 24-23 loss to Portugal.

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It was a performance defined by handling errors and ill-discipline as Os Lobos recorded their first ever World Cup victory, but a losing bonus point was enough for Fiji to qualify and send Australia crashing out of the tournament.

Simon Raiwalui’s side face England next week in Marseille, but almost every player will have to significantly up their performance if they want to come away with a win. Here’s how they rated:

15 Sireli Maqala – 7
By far and away Fiji’s most dangerous attacker, shown by the way he made considerably more metres and beat more defenders than anyone on the pitch.

14 Selesitino Ravutaumada – 4
An extremely quiet performance as Fiji failed to fire.

13 Waisea Nayacalevu (c) – 4
Taken off after an hour off the back of a penalty conceded. Seemed to be carrying a knock, but a sloppy display from the captain filled with handling errors.

12 Josua Tuisova – 5
Not the destructive force he usually is with ball in hand, and was more of a presence in defence if anything.

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11 Vinaya Habosi – 5
Lit the first half up with a solo run and was dangerous in attack, but was not free from errors and was slow to react for Portugal’s first try.

10 Vilimoni Botitu – 4
Some loose passes and sloppy distribution in a game where he could not get Fiji’s backs ticking.

9 Frank Lomani – 6
Perfect record with the tee and looked as though he had guided his side to the win. Often looked threatening in attack as well.

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1 Eroni Mawi – 7
Played like a flanker at times with strong carries, plenty of tackles for a prop and some great work at the breakdown. Bread and butter is the scrum, and he was strong there too.

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2 Samuel Matavesi – 5
Lineout throwing was put under pressure at some crucial moments, but other than that was tireless in defence.

3 Luke Tagi – 7
Strong scrummaging display embellished with powerful carries and some lovely hands (including an audacious miss pass) for a player of any size, let alone a 130kg tighthead prop.

4 Isoa Nasilasila – 5
Defensively solid but was unable to make a lasting impact on the match.

5 Temo Mayanavanua – 6
Cruel luck to have his game ended early with a leg injury, but he still managed an eyecatching 17 minutes before leaving the field, with some big tackles and a nice link-up with Lomani on the wing for a break.

6 Meli Derenalagi – 7
Tormented Portugal’s lineout throughout the match and was one of Fiji’s more industrious players.

7 Levani Botia – 4
Not one of the flanker’s best games. Did of course score a try, but had an ill-disciplined match, which of course included his yellow card.

8 Viliame Mata – 6
Not the most flashy display, but was the most reliable Fijian forward to make the hard yards in the tight during his 70 minutes on the field.

Match Summary

3
Penalty Goals
1
2
Tries
3
2
Conversions
3
0
Drop Goals
0
144
Carries
111
6
Line Breaks
8
15
Turnovers Lost
13
7
Turnovers Won
9

Replacements:
16 Tevita Ikanivere – 5
Had crucial lineout stolen soon after coming on but was robust in the final quarter.

17 Peni Ravai – 5
Carried well after coming on at the hour mark.

18 Mesake Doge – 6
Scored a try to level the game, but it proved to be in vain.

19 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta – 3
Despite playing the majority of the match, was ineffective.

20 Albert Tuisue – N/A

21 Peni Matawalu – N/A

22 Teti Tela – N/A

23 Iosefo Masi – 5
Did not see a lot of action in his 20 minute cameo, but looked lively when he got rare touches.

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Comments

4 Comments
M
Michael 250 days ago

I thought Botia lucky to return to the field. Clearly the criteria for RED has been adjusted since the initial games.

S
Simon 251 days ago

This is the real Fiji. Much like your Brightons and Brentfords in football, they raise their game for Tier 1 nations but descend into the chaotic, unfit team we all know they are in reality. England will have a tough quarter final but I expect them to win comfortably in the end.

M
Mark 251 days ago

Judging by the quality of both the fiji and England performances at the wk/end, it looks like their qtr final showdown will be the least anticipated by both sets of fans.
Chapeau to Portugal though, brilliant effort.👍

C
Chris 251 days ago

Peni Ravai with a 5? Watch the last 20 minutes again and please correct this grade…
Juste because you end-up playing for the losing team doesn’t necessarily mean that you had a bad day. The dynamism was just incredible and, yes, Portugal’s defense was probably tired but he deserves an 8 at least.

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