By JOSEPHINE NAVULA
David Raikuna saved the day for the New Zealand after he scored the winning try beating Fiji in the Cup Semifinal, 19-14.
The match went into extra time after it was tied to 14-all at full time.
New Zealand started strongly after an opening try from Tim Mickelson and Captain Tomasi Cama bursting through the Fiji defense to score the second try.
New Zealand led halftime, 14-0.
Fiji bounced back with a brilliant break through by Samisoni Viriviri to score their first try, and Red Rock’s Jasa Veremalua scoring another one to level the points with New Zealand, 14-14.
Ilai Tinai missed a penalty for Fiji during the extra time.
New Zealand maitaned with their pressure against Fiji with strong defense and Raikuna managed to score in the corner that helped their side to proceed through the Cup Finals.
Captain Tomasi Cama said he is happy with his boys’ performance and looks forward to other challenges.
“The matches were tough, all the pool games n quarters against Canada, we lost alot of experience boys through injuries, alot of young and new boys in the team now and they are doing well, I’m proud of them,” he said.
Fiji will now meet Samoa in the third place playoff at 10:01am.
In the other semifinal, South Africa defeated Samoa 12-7 in sudden death to meet NZ in the final at 10:25am.