Fiji edge out Barbarians 31-33 at Twickenham Stadium

Mathieu Bastareaud scored the opening try for Barbarians
Mathieu Bastareaud scored the opening try for Barbarians

Barbarians 31-33 Fiji, Twickenham Stadium

Fiji overcame a late surge from Barbarians as they sealed a 31-33 win at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Pacific Island team had a lead of 12-14 in the first half but scored three second half tries before the 74th minute taking their lead to 17-33 but late tries Makazole Mapimpi and Morne Steyn provided them with a scare at the end.

Eddie Jones took in charge of the invitational side and they got off to a promising start with Mathieu Bastareaud dotting down in the 19th minute but Curwin Bosch missed the conversion.

John McKee's men responded back strong with back to back tries from Enele Malele (24') and Teti Tela (27'). Tela also kicked both the extras taking Fiji's lead to 5-14 but Andre Esterhuizen's 31st minute try helped the Baa-Baas narrow down the gap to two points at the end of the first half.

The second half saw Fiji getting off the block quick with Johnny Dyer touching down and Tela's conversion increased their lead to nine points.

Nevertheless, Mapimpi kept Barbarians in the hunt with hisf irst try in the 47th minute but Temo Mayanavanua's touchdown in the 51st minute followed by Tela's conversion stretched the scoreline to 17-28 and it became 17-33 by the 74th minute when Temo Mayanavanua went over the line.

Just when Fiji thought they had full control of the game Mapimpi and Steyn crossed the whitewash in the 78th and 80th minutes with Steyn also kicking two conversions but their effort went in vain as Barbarians fell short of Fiji's tally by two points.