Ireland edge past Fiji with 23-20 win

Ireland's Ian Keatley kicked two vital penalties
Ireland's Ian Keatley kicked two vital penalties
©PA

Ireland 23-20 Fiji, Aviva Stadium
Scorecard

A double penalty from Ian Keatley proved vital as Ireland managed to edge out Fiji 23-20 in their second game of the autumn international campaign at Aviva Stadium on Friday.

A new look Ireland side were put under considerable pressure by Fiji, although they started the game well when Joey Carberry found Darren Sweetnam in the sixth minute to score the opening try. Though the fly-half missed out on the conversion.

Fiji's reply came in the 20th minute when Ben Volavola slotted a 20th minute penalty but Andrew Conway provided Ireland with another breakthrough as Andrew Conway burst through Fiji's defence and fed Dave Kearney to score their second try. This time Carberry found the post with the conversion.

Kearney's second try was denied after Conway was penalised for a deliberate knock on but soon Jack Conan touched down as Ireland stretched their lead to 17-3.

Fiji made a strong comeback with tries on either side of half-time, with scrum-half Henry Seniloli and Timoci Nagusa being the contributors as the scores were levelled 17-17 after double conversions from Volavola.

As the game entered the final 10 minutes, all the three results were possible and Keatley and Volavola traded penalties in the 66th and 69th minute respectively with scores continuing to be level at 20-20. In what was a thrilling finish, it was Keatley, who held his nerve and kicked his second penalty in the 72nd minute to complete a 23-20 victory.

 

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