The Leicester winger stars as Fiji beat the Georgians 38-24 at BT Murrayfield

Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo scores hat-trick against Georgia

Fiji had to wait for three weeks to play their first Autumn Nations Cup match, but it took them only 72 seconds to score a try.

Nemani Nadolo has been absent from the international stage for two years, but it took the Fiji winger just 63 minutes to score a hat-trick.

Vern Cotter’s first Test in charge of Fiji ended with a 38-24 victory in this seventh-place play-off against Georgia at BT Murrayfield – and it was an entertaining match to watch. Fiji’s delayed arrival in the tournament after a Covid-19 outbreak lived up to expectations as the islanders scored six tries in all.

The first try came within two minutes as Fiji launched an attack from a scrum in their opponents’ 22. Josua Tuisova and Albert Tuisue made strong carries in the centre of the field, then the ball bobbled wide for Nemani Nadolo to collect and power through Soso Matiashvil and Akaki Tabutsadze to score in the corner.

Leicester winger Nadolo hadn’t played for Fiji since 2018 after previously retiring from international rugby, but after opting to return to the Test arena he was quick to show he hasn’t lost his scoring touch.

His other two tries came in four second-half minutes. The first was created by a Ben Volavola grubber kick, which Nadolo bent low to collect and then he slid over in the corner.

The second came from a Fiji lineout in the Georgia 22, Sam Matavesi looped round and fed Nadolo, who was able to burst through two defenders to complete his hat-trick.

Nemani Nadolo scores hat-trick

All smiles: Nemani Nadolo enjoys scoring his third try against Georgia (Getty Images)

Fiji’s other tries came from debutant Johnny Dyer, who powered over from close range following a five-metre lineout, Tuisova, who was put into space on the wing by a long Levani Botia pass, and Mesulame Kunavula, who also marked his first cap by crossing the line after a superb offload from Tuisova.

However, it wasn’t one-way traffic in Edinburgh as Georgia scored three tries of their own. The first came in the 23rd minute as Giorgi Melikidze drove over from a couple of metres while Beka Saginadze scored twice in the final 12 minutes.

There was little doubt over the Man of the Match, though, as Nadolo picked up the gong. His three tries mean he has now drawn level with Vereniki Goneva as Fiji’s top try-scorer, with both having 22 Test tries to their names.

This match proved to be worth the wait for both Nadolo and Fiji.

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