Wales win 38-23 after Eroni Sau sent off in first half in Cardiff
Watch: Remarkable Louis Rees-Zammit finish against Fiji
The islanders raced into a 10-0 lead at the Principality Stadium but were reduced to 14 players after 25 minutes when Eroni Sau was sent off for a swinging arm to the head of Johnny Williams.
Fiji also faced a further two spells with only 13 players on the pitch when first Albert Tuisue and second Eroni Mawi were sin-binned as a result of repeated infringements.
Yet they led 23-19 going into the final quarter following two tries from Waisea Nayacalevu and 13 points from the boot of Ben Volavola. It wasn’t until Rees-Zammit crossed in the 74th minute that Wales looked assured of victory.
The try came from a turnover, the ball was spun wide and Rees-Zammit kicked downfield while on the run around halfway. That’s when his pace came to the fore as he got to the ball before Volavola.
It wasn’t a clean ‘touchdown’ but the officials were happy on TMO review that there was no clear separation between the winger’s arms and the ball as it was grounded so the try stood. Sam Warburton described it as a “world-class finish” in commentary.
Watch the remarkable Louis Rees-Zammit finish here…
Wales got rewards from their maul with two tries for Ryan Elias while Kieran Hardy also darted over from a scrum shortly before half-time when Fiji were down to 13.
Fiji hit back early in the second period, though, and it wasn’t until Alex Cuthbert, playing his first Test for four years, scored in the 67th minute that Wales retook the lead, 24-23.
Rees-Zammit’s try gave Wales a more comfortable advantage before Player of the Match Liam Williams crossed with the final play after a break from Nick Tompkins to give the scoreline a more flattering look from the hosts’ perspective.
You can watch match highlights from Amazon Prime Video here…
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