Portugal 22-32 Fiji

Fiji were made to work for their five points against Portugal, needing three tries in the closing 23 minutes to make sure of their second successive World Rugby U20 Trophy victory in Bucharest.

Portugal came into the match on a high following their last-gasp defeat of Canada, and took an early lead on day two as Jeronimo Portela touched down in the right corner. He missed the touchline conversion and Fiji levelled the scores within four minutes as Vilimoni Botitu offloaded to Joseph Mar, who scored in the left corner.

On the quarter-hour, the Pacific Islanders took the lead when Saimoni Uluinakauvadra outstripped the Portuguese defence on the right wing.

Caleb Muntz missed the subsequent conversion, and that allowed Portela two reel Fiji in as he struck two penalties before half-time to give Portugal a slender 11-10 lead at the break.

Further penalties from Portela and Joao Maria Lima stretched Portugal’s lead to a converted try with just over 26 minutes left. And with handling errors hurting their opponents, victory appeared to be on the cards.

However, in the 58th minute, Ilikena Vudogo scored a try out of almost nothing, and although Nabetelevu Turaganivalu missed the conversion Fiji were within two points.

Having edged the door to victory open, Fiji hooker Tevita Ikanivere bulldozed through it to score his side’s fourth try and hand them the lead. It visibly knocked the wind out of Portugal and Waisake Raratuba’s try with around eight minutes remaining made it game, set and match.

Turaganivalu stretched Fiji’s lead to 15 points with a late penalty, but there was still time for Manoa Mocelutu to be sent to the bin as Portugal chased a third try. The European side managed to breach the Fiji line eight minutes into stoppage time as Diogo Cardoso touched down after a series of reset scrums.

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