Fiji coasted to victory in Lisbon but for the most part it looked more like a casual vacation stroll as they failed to put the outclassed Lobos to the sword.
PORTUGAL13 vs 36 FIJI
Saturday, November 9, 15:00 GMT, Lisbon
At took a quarter of the match to be played before anybody woke up. Pedro Leal put Portugal on the board first, but debutant Asaeli Tikoirotuma weaved his way over a couple minutes later to get Fiji into the game, and from there they never looked back. Unfortunately for the fans they never hit full stride either, looking disinterested for large portions of the game and playing well below their capability.
The overmatched Lobos gave everything they had and even managed to put a consolation try over in late in the second half, but were never going to be able to compete with the big Fijian backs. Monstrous centre Nemano Nadolo looked like he was wading through the Lilliputians, and yet went down far too easily at times. Their upcoming opponents would not have been impressed and while Fiji scored six tries they could easily have put over several more had they been so inclined.
Portugal will take heart from their performance, particularly that of rookie prop Bruno Medeiros, who lasted nearly the whole game and showed his versatility by playing on both sides of the scrum. Teenage centre Pedro Bettencourt showed that he has a bright future ahead, and Rafael Simoes was industrious though he probably needs to dedicate himself a little more at the dinner table.
Fiji now move on to Cremona to face a much stiffer test in the form of the Azzurri, and if they play like today they will not taste victory. The Lobos meanwhile have to pack up and fly all the way to Brazil for their historic matchup, and then fly all the way back to face the Canadians in a fortnight. It is a nice gesture but perhaps their scheduling might have been a little less obtrusive.
19 mins – P. Leal pen 3-0
22 mins – A. Tikoirotuma try 3-5
23 mins – S. Bai con 3-7
32 mins – S. Bai try 3-12
33 mins – S. Bai con 3-14
44 mins – N. Nalaga try 3-19
45 mins – S. Bai con 3-21
58 mins – N. Nadolo try 3-26
63 mins – P. Leal pen 6-26
67 mins – N. Kenatale try 3-31
74 mins – F. Oliveira try 11-31
75 mins – P. Leal con 13-31
80 mins – L. Botia try 13-36
62 mins – A. Rokobaro yellow (professional foul)
P. Leal; D. Moreira (F. Oliveira 63), P. Bettencourt, M. Leal (F. Appleton 56), G. Foro; Fr. Almeida (L. Salema 31-40, 64), F. Magalhaes; J. Segurado (B. Rocha 60), J. Correia (capt.), B. Medeiros (J. Almeida 75); R. Simoes (R. D’Orey 63), G. Uva; A. Duarte (Fe. Almeida 54), J. Bardy (Fe. Almeida 26-31), V. Uva.
T. Nagusa; N. Nalaga, N. Nadolo, S. Bai (L. Botia 69), A. Tikoirotuma (A. Rokobaro 54); W. Luveniyali (N. Kenatale 51), N. Matawalu; J. Yanuyanutawa (C. Ma’afu 51), V. Veikoso (S. Naureure 69), S. Somoca (M. Saulo 51); A. Ratuniyarawa, W. Lewaravu (D. Waqaniburu 60); A. Naikatini, A. Qera (capt.), S. Koyamaibole (M. Ravulo 54).
Referee: J. Sylvestre (UAR)
Assistants: I. Davies (WRU) & A. Davies (WRU)