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Sunday, 29 October, 2000, 19:05 GMT
Fiji win battle of the minnows
Fiji vs Russia
Fiji come out winners after tackling Russia
Fiji 38-12 Russia

Russia put up a brave display but were outgunned by Fiji in an entertaining World Cup Group 1 clash at Barrow.

Loose forward Atunaisa Vunivalu ran in a second half hat-trick of tries for Fiji with Lote Tuqiri showing his class with 18 points.

Russia managed to notch two tries but in the end found the going too tough.

It took Tuquiri just five minutes to get on the scoreboard, taking a Stephen Smith pass and scoring under the posts.

Fiji extended their lead 10 minutes later when a slick move down the right involving Samu Marayawa and Waisale Sovatabua allowed Jone Kuruduadua to score.

Tuquiri created the opening for his second try for himself with a clever chip and then took a reverse pass from Vunivalu before sprinting over for a 16-0 lead.


Russia were keen to show that, as well as making up the numbers, they can play a bit and they snatched a deserved try through Robert Iliassov three minutes before the break.

Waisale Sovatabua
Sovatabua scored try
The full-back burrowed over from dummy-half after Craig Cigler had carried the ball to the line.

But any hopes they might have had of a comeback were quickly dispelled by Vunivalu after the restart.

The lock ran in for an easy score within two minutes and then added a second five minutes later. He helped himself to a third when Iliassov spilled Tuqiri's bomb.

Huddersfield's Sovatabua rounded off the scoring two minutes before full-time.

Russia fought tooth and nail, and a second try from Joel Rullis was the least they deserved for their battling performance.

The loose forward ran ontor Ian Rubin's pass and touched down for a try, efficiently converted by Mikhail Mitrofanov.

Fiji earned the points in the battle of the minnows but still have to face England and defending champions Australia.

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See also:

29 Oct 00 |  Group 1
We can bounce back
29 Oct 00 |  Group 1
Anderson praises England
17 Oct 00 |  Rugby League
The team they couldn't keep away
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