2007 Rugby World Cup: Tonga, Fiji and Italy win

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Tonga started their campaign with a 15-25 win over the United States. Fiji won their opening match by four points in a close contest against Japan.

Romania, playing their first match of the tournament, led Italy just after half time but eventually fell to a 24-18 defeat.

September 12, 2007
14:00 (UTC+2)
United States 15 – 25 Tonga Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Referee: Stuart Dickinson
Try: M MacDonald 47'
L Stanfill 67'
Conv: M Hercus 68'
Pen: M Hercus 33'
Try: F Maka 2'
J Vaka 59'
V Vaki 70'
Conv: P Hola (2) 3', 71'
Pen: P Hola (2) 7', 26'

In Pool A, Tonga raced to an early lead after Finau Maka scored a try in the second minute and Pierre Hola added the conversion. However the United States pinned them back for most of the first half with Pierre Hola scoring just two penalties for Tonga, giving them a 13-0 lead. Shortly before half time Mike Hercus scored a penalty for the United States to take the score to 13-3 at the interval.

The Americans controlled the game for much of the second half. Mike MacDonald scored a try for the Americans to pull the score back to 13-8, but Tonga hit back with a try from Joseph Vaka. Louis Stanfill scored a try to close the gap to three points, but Viliami Vaki scored with ten minutes remaining to claim the victory for Tonga.

The win takes Tonga to third place in Pool A with four points, behind South Africa with five and England on points difference. The United Stated have no points from two defeats.

September 12, 2007
18:00 (UTC+2)
Japan 31 – 35 Fiji Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
Referee: Marius Jonker
Try: L Thompson (2) 51', 78'
T Soma 62'
Conv: S Onishi (2) 52', 79'
Pen: S Onishi (4) 18', 30', 40+', 43'
Try: A Qera (2) 36', 49'
S Rabeni 56'
K Leawere 71'
Conv: N Little (3) 37', 50', 72'
Pen: N Little (3) 4', 55', 74'

Fiji overcame Japan in a dramatic encounter in Pool B. Nicky Little kicked Fiji to an early lead, but Shotaro Onishi scored two penalties to give Japan a 6-3 lead in the 30th minute. Fiji went ahead with a try from Akapusi Qera, and Japan's Onishi scored a penalty just before half time reducing Fiji's lead to one point.

Onishi scored another penalty after the restart and Japan led once more. Qera scored his second try for Fiji in the 49th minute, but Luke Thompson scored a try for Japan two minutes later. A try from Seru Rabeni once again gave Fiji the advantage, but Japan were kept in the match by a Tomokazu Soma try. Fiji stretched their lead to 11 points after Kele Leawere scored a try, and a last minute Luke Thompson try was not enough to snatch the win for Japan.

Fiji are third in the pool with five points, behind Australia and Wales on points difference. Japan are fourth, taking one point from this defeat.

September 12, 2007
20:00 (UTC+2)
Italy 24 – 18 Romania Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Referee: Tony Spreadbury
Try: S Dellapè 6'
Penalty try 54'
Conv: R Pez 55'
Pen: D Bortolussi 14'
R Pez (3) 62', 66', 72'
Try: A Manta 43'
M Tincu 47'
Conv: I Dimofte 49'
Pen: I Dimofte (2) 70', 74'

In Pool C, Italy led Romania 8-0 at half time through an early try from Santiago Dellapè and a David Bortolussi penalty.

Romania took the lead early in the second half after Alexandru Manta and Marius Tincu scored tries. Italy regained the lead after they were awarded a penalty try due to several fouls from Romania. Ionut Dimofte scored two penalties for Romania to keep them in the game, but Ramiro Pez scored three to keep Italy ahead.

Italy are third in Pool C with four points, behind New Zealand and Scotland with five each. Romania are fourth, earning one point in this match.

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