Fiji women win their country's third-ever Olympic medal with 21-12 win
Fijiana win bronze medal at Olympic Women’s Sevens
What about Fijiana, eh? After an incredible run in these Olympic Games, they have a bronze medal to show for their brilliance.
The ever-impressive Alowesi Nakoci opened the scoring after some fine interplay from Fijiana and after soaking up pressure for almost the entirety of the match, that same star was on hand to go nearly the length to put Fiji 14-0 up.
But with almost ten minutes of play in the first half, GB were able to get themselves on the board via Megan Jones. They had to earth it the hard way, running into the teeth of a physical Fiji side for most of that half, but as the pressure mounted, and penalties racked up too, they were able to find the space on the outside for Jones to score. It went in at the half 14-5 to Fijiana.
Related: Get to know Team GB’s Megan Jones
It was cagey stuff for the first chunk of the second half, until Reapi Ulunisau came round onto an offload and hammering through a gap to go under the posts. Viniana Riwai converted to make it 21-5.
But as Fiji indiscipline crept in, a sharp-thinking Jones saw the chance to tap and after wrong-footing the last defender, she raced under the posts. There was a glimmer of hope at 21-12, and Team GB managed to reclaim the kick-off. But Fijiana dropped the hammer on yet another blitz defence and they turned it over.
As the final whistle went, there were scenes of jubilation for the Pacific Islander – this is only the third time Fiji have won an Olympic medal (the other two golds, for the men’s sevens side). For GB it was pure heartbreak. They finish fourth for the second Games in a row, but this team have also been through so much, with national programmes across Britain torn up. They grafted, fundraised, were rescued by Lottery funding and pulled together in a short space of time to mount a challenge in Tokyo.
It wasn’t to be. But for Fiji, history is made yet again.
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