Wales survive Fiji's double onslaught in World Cup opener

AP - Themba Hadebe

Wales withstood a spirited fightback from Fiji on Sunday night to edge a pulsating game in Group C at the World Cup in Bordeaux.

"There were 65 minutes on the clock and we were comfortable," reflected Wales coach Warren Gatland just after the nail-biting finale at the Matmut Atlantique.

"We needed to control the game there but we gave away unnecessary penalties and lost a little bit of composure and allowed Fiji back. And with the team that they've got, they can hurt you."

And the Fijians nearly did.

They scored two tries in the last 10 minutes to cut Wales' lead from 32-14 to 32-26. A dropped pass at the end with the by-line beckoning could have taken the game down to a conversion to decide it.

But Semi Radradra's fumble spared the nerves for such a denouément.

"I thought we showed some great courage in certain aspects," added Gatland. "I'm delighted with the result."

His Fiji counterpart, Simon Raiwalui, spoke soberly about the inconsistencies of the officials preferring to put the defeat down to failure to exploit their opportunities.

"We weren't clinical enough to finish off some of our moves," he added.

"But we've got another job to do. We have to move on because we are playing Australia next week.So we have to recover for that game and prepare for it."

In that match at Saint-Etienne next Sunday, the Australians will know they are in for a battle royal if they follow the Welsh approach.

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