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Pacific Nations Cup Fiji overcame second-half struggles - Akapusi Qera

Akapusi Qera said Fiji are aware of their tendency to fall away in second halves ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

  • Published:
play (Omni Sports)

Fiji captain Akapusi Qera acknowledged his side's tendency to slump in the second halves of matches after their Pacific Nations Cup success.

John McKee's men went through the tournament unbeaten, but had to withstand an almighty challenge from Samoa in Tuesday's final to win 39-29 in their last tournament leading into the Rugby World Cup starting in September.

Qera noted Fiji's shortcomings after half-time were a concern, with Samoa launching a comeback via two tries in the space of eight minutes after the interval putting them in front for the first time in Burnaby, Canada.

"It was difficult. We put our hands up to Samoa," said Qera, whose side were leading 17-9 at half-time.

"They came out firing [in the second half]. They wanted to win and we managed to get some tactics right. In the second half we pulled it off.

"We've been working on our second-half performance. We tend to lose in the second half. The boys pulled it off.

"We knew Samoa wanted to win this badly. We wanted the win more than them."

Earlier in the tournament, Fiji were leading 27-10 before Samoa came back to earn a 30-30 draw, and also had built a 24-9 lead against Japan before holding on for a five-point win.

They also conceded early in the second 40 minutes against Tonga to concede the lead, before correcting themselves to post a 30-22 victory.

Samoa's Kahn Fotuali'i said Fiji's ability to attack - the victors scored five tries to three - was the difference in the final.

"It was quite a tight game, but that's just how rugby goes. A few mistakes here and there let the Fijians in," Fotuali'i said.

"We missed a few tackles and the way the Fijians play, they can score from anywhere."

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