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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 10:08 GMT
McCallion rues late lapse
Fiji coach Mac McCallion
McCallion paid tribute to his players despite the loss
Fiji coach Mac McCallion rued his side's loss of focus after they were knocked out of the World Cup following a 22-20 defeat to Scotland.

The Pacific Islanders had gone into the dying minutes of the match 20-15 ahead, but a converted Tom Smith try ended their hopes and sealed Scotland's passage into the quarter-finals.

McCallion said: "Naturally we're disappointed. There is no doubt about it. In the first half it was there for the taking.

"The crucial moment was when we lost our hooker, Greg Smith, five minutes before half-time. We lost our composure after that and Scotland came back very strongly."

Smith, the Fijian captain and hooker, had inspired a superb showing from his forwards before coming off with a neck injury.

Despite that, a 14-6 lead at half-time - courtesy of tries from Rupeni Caucaunibuca - had put his side in a strong position.

But a missed scoring chance by Caucaunibuca and fellow wing Aisea Tuilevu kept the Scots in the contest.

McCallion added: "You never think the game is won until the final whistle is blown. I knew we were under pressure and the Scots would come back, and they did.

"We didn't finish off our rucks and mauls, but we were confident to go ahead in the second half, then we lost composure.

"But in the end it was still only two points and with a bit of luck, or even a penalty, we would have won."

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