Wales 32-26 Fiji: Warren Gatland’s men survive vital Rugby World Cup test with bonus-point win


Wales came through a tense finish in their Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji on Sunday to claim a 32-26 victory.

The two teams, both of whom fancy their chances of qualifying out of Pool C, traded early tries before Wales built a seemingly comfortable lead in the second half.

However, Fiji went over twice more late on before Semi Radradra fumbled an incredible chance to score in the 82nd minute as the Pacific Islanders hunted the converted try needed to snatch a memorable win.

This was the fifth straight World Cup where these two teams have met in the pool stage and Fiji's only win remains an epic 38-34 in Nantes in 2007, the last time the tournament was staged in France.

This didn't quite reach those levels, though it wasn't far off, with Fiji producing some spellbinding rugby early on that had Welsh tacklers flapping at thin air and summoning up one last flourish that nearly brought about a thrilling victory.

Tries by Josua Tuisova and Mesake Doge, in the 73rd and 78th minutes respectively, left Fiji within a converted try to win and it could have materialised if centre Radradra hadn't spilled a pass out wide when free on the left after the 80 minutes had passed at Stade de Bordeaux.

Just one game in and Wales — a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2019 — already look in good shape to reach the quarter-finals again under Warren Gatland, with Australia, Georgia and Portugal the other teams in Pool C.

Fiji are likely to need to beat Australia next weekend if they are to reach the quarter-finals.