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Saturday, October 9, 1999 Published at 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK


Fijian tiffs and butts

Fiji now meet France next Saturday in the Group C decider

Fiji 38-22 Canada

Fiji centre Viliame Satala scored two tries as his side came from behind to romp over rugby minnows Canada in a crucial World Cup Group C encounter at Bordeaux.

The Fijian victory was marred as left wing Marika Vunibaka was sent off after appearing to headbutt one of the Canadians.

The win means Fiji now share the Group C lead with France, who they meet next Saturday in Toulouse.

The winner will advance straight to the quarter-finals while the loser will have to battle it out in the play-offs.


[ image: Gareth Rees: In his fourth World Cup]
Gareth Rees: In his fourth World Cup
After this free-running display the Fijians will fancy their chances.

They outscored Canada four tries to one, with flyhalf Niki Little kicking 18 points.

But it was Canada, without a test victory in 12 months, who took an early lead when Mike James crossed for the first try and Gareth Rees added the conversion and another penalty.

Fiji responded in style, Satala scoring two tries and the referee awarding a third penalty score to give them a 22-16 interval lead.

Only the boot of veteran Gareth Rees kept the Canadians in the game - in total he kicked 17 points via a conversion, a field goal and four penalties.

In touch

Little extended Fiji's lead to 25-16 with a drop goal three minutes into the second half but Rees reduced the margin to five points with a penalty goal in the 49th minute.

Winger Marika Vunibaka crossed for Fiji's fourth try on the hour after chasing onto a kick on the left flank, finding support on the inside and then backing up to take the final pass.

Little added the conversion to extend the lead to 32-19 and then traded penalty goals with Rees to maintain a 13-point buffer at 35-22 with 10 minutes to play.

He added another penalty in the 74th minute to extend the lead to 16 points and give the Fijians a small psychological adantage over France - the European side only beat Canada by a 13-point margin.

Scorers:
Fiji: Tries: Viliame Satala (2), penalty try, Marika Vunibaka. Conversions: Niki Little (3). Penalties: Niki Little (3). Drop goal: Niki Little
Canada: Tries: Mike James. Conversion: Gareth Rees. Penalties: Gareth Rees (4). Drop goal: Gareth Rees.

Teams:
Fiji: Uluinayau, Lasagavibau, Satala, Sotutu, Vunibaka, Little, Raulini, Rouse, Smith, Vetayaki, Raiwalui, Katalau, Tabua, Tawake, Mocelutu.
Replacements: Rauluni, Serevi, Nakauta, Sewabu, Naevo, Qoro, Rasila.
Canada: Stewart, Stanley, Nicholls, Bryan, Lougheed, Rees, Williams, Snow, Dunkley, Thiel, Tait, James, Charron, Baugh, Schmid.
Replacements: Pagano, Ross, Graf, Banks, Hutchison, Major, Cardinal.
Referee: Ed Morrison (England)




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