And straight away, we now have another potentially exciting game. The teams:
Scotland: Robertson, Liddell, Nanyn, K Henderson, Steel, Duffy, Brough (capt), Wilkes, Fisher, Logan, Armit, Morrison, I Henderson.
Replacements (from): Morton, A Henderson, Lowe, Jackson, McConnell.
Fiji: Hayne, Tadulala, Naiqama (capt), Millard, Uate, Noilea, Groom, Divavesi, Sukanaveita, Vonomateiratu, Sims, Sadrau, Bukuya.
Replacements (from): Storer, Bradley-Qalilawa, Tuiloa, Tora, Koroi, Wesele, Macilai, Ravueta, Nauqe.
Fiji basically have to just not completely cock up here to win Group B, but stranger things have happened…
SCOTLAND 18 – 16 FIJI
0 mins: God damn, what a start. Scotland put up two very hard tackles and then bam! Fiji spread the ball from left to right as Utae races down the touchline. If he passes inside it’s a try, but instead he goes for glory and it’s still nearly a try, except that the offload is knocked on over the line by Naiquama.
4 mins: Scotland get their first attacking break as Ben Fisher breaks from an offload. Fiji hold down too long, and it’s a Scotland penalty.
5 mins: TRY Jon Steel CONVERSION Danny Brough
Scotland threaten through Michael Robertson down the right, and then spread it the other way to the left and Jon Steel manages to evade the attention of several Fijian defenders to barge his way over. Danny Brough adds a touchline conversion
SCO 6 – 0 FIJI
7 mins: Fisher makes a break down the middle again, and if he passes it’s a try. He doesn’t and is brought down by Hayne. From the play-the-ball, Brough’s pass to Oliver Wilkes is poor and Wilkes knocks on.
8 mins: Nick Bradley-Qualilawa gives away a penalty, but Brough tries to get massive distance and in the process fails to send it dead.
10 mins: Wade Liddell gets a nice trip from Iowane Divavesi, and handbags nearly go off. Unfortunately, the ref calms it all down and Divavesi is put on report.
15 mins: Fiji are utilising a dangerous combination of trips and head-shots here. Scotland get another penalty.
19 mins: Now Scotland are being penalised a fair bit, mostly for interference. It’s getting a bit rough.
20 mins: and as I write that Oliver Wilkes tries to take someone’s head off.
21 mins: Fiji try to make this current pressure count and Sevania Kuroi goes very close, but he reaches short of the line and knocks on in the process.
25 mins: TRY Semi Tadulala
Fiji seem to be finding their mojo as Jarryd Hayne makes a very profitable kick return into Scotland territory. Brough then knocks on trying to intercept, and Fiji start spreading the ball and offloading until Semi Tadulala is able to crash down the left wing. Wes Naiquama misses the kick out wide, but Fiji are finding their rhythmn.
SCO 6 – 4 FIJI
31 mins: Fiji are starting to get things their way here, as Neil Lowe knocks on inside his own half. The ref isn’t happy with Scotland’s reaction and he lets Danny Brough know.
33 mins: Scotland’s backchat is getting on the ref’s nerves, as a knock-on is upgraded to a penalty for dissent.
34 mins: There we go. At last, a fight breaks out between Ian Henderson and Jason Bukuya. Nice little scrap there. The ref is telling both captains to calm down their sides. Henderson’s got a nice little lump on his head. Scotland are given the penalty.
35 mins: Henderson’s in the thick of it again, as he takes the ball too wide and gets bundled into touch for his efforts.
36 mins: Ashton Sims knocks on under pressure from Nanyn. Incidentally, Sims looks like the Seventies died on his face. What is up with that ‘tache?
39 mins: TRY Michael Robertson CONVERSION Brough
Scotland end the half strongly, and Brough puts in a lovely kick off the outside of the boot which holds up in the in-goal. Michael Robertson and Ian Henderson both race to touch it down, with Robertson winning the race. Brough adds the easy kick.
HALF TIME: Scotland 12 – 4 Fiji
Well, 8 ahead, 20 to go. This is a very tight game and Scotland are just about getting the better of it down the middle. However, it’s hard to see them breaking away and running away with it at the moment. That final try should be a good boost heading into the second half though… I’ve been drinking too much coffee and need to use this break to unload.
40 mins: We’re back, and we’re relieved. Danny Brough offloads after the ref calls held, and Fiji get an early opportunity to pull the scores back.
41 mins: TRY Jason Bukuya CONVERSION Naiquama
Okay, this is bizarre. Jason Bukuya tries to drive over in the corner, but runs into four Scottish defenders. Instead of trying to bundle Bukuya back into the field of play, or over the nearby touchline, tehy try to drag him over the dead-ball line, which takes so long that Bukuya is able to stick an arm out and score. Naiquama adds a great kick.
SCO 12 – 10 FIJI
45 mins: Fiji are building momentum here and are camped in the Scotland half. Unfortunately Semisi Tora knocks on trying to pass to Aaron Groom.
48 mins: Fantastic play from Waisale Sukanaveita as he puts in a grubber 10m out and then kicks in on the deck away from Michael Robertson, only for
50 mins: PENALTY Naiquama
Okay, Scotland give away a penalty in front of their own posts, a gift which Fiji aren’t going to spurn. Naiquama does the easy thing and kicks the two points.
SCO 12 – 12 FIJI
51 mins: Fiji knock on the kick-off, and Scotland start building up pressure again.
55 mins: Scotland are trying to do their best Fiji impression with an array of offloads and wide-passing, and in the process give the ball back to the Bati as it hits the deck.
58 mins: After Scott Logan puts in a massive hit on Koroi to stop him breaking through, Groom puts up a massive bomb which Robertson completely messes up. It sits up for Jone Macilai who dives over, but it is called back for offside. Scotland get a big let-off, and they really need to step it up now.
61 mins: Akuila Utae’s a bit fun to watch, isn’t he? He returns a kick down the right flank and beats the covering defenders. It eventually takes three defenders to bring him down.
67 mins: Scotland have had a few minutes of pressure, but it just takes one knock on for Fiji to start attacking again, before Danny Brough gives away a penalty for a dangerous tackle
69 mins: Groom puts in a lovely grubber, and Kevin Henderson has to take the tackle in-goal after messing up the first attempt to catch the ball.
72 mins: TRY Tadulala
Jarryd Hayne makes a line-break from a kick return, and although he is eventually tackled, the ball is finally spread wide to Tadulala in space who finds his way into the corner. Naiquama just misses with the touchline conversion.
SCO 12 – 16 FIJI
74 mins: Scotland get the ball back from the short kick-off, and get a penalty on the final tackle right next to the Fijian line.
75 mins: TRY Oliver Wilkes CONVERSION Brough
Well, whadda ya know! Oliver Wilkes barges over from close range. There is some doubt as to whether he was short and whether he lost control, but the video ref gives him the benefit of the doubt. Brough adds the relatively easy kick.
SCO 18 – 16 FIJI
77 mins: Oh my. Scotland get a penalty from the kick-off, but Brough again fails to find touch and Fiji have the ball back
78 mins: Hayne spurns that gift by thowing a shocking pass into touch.
79 mins: Scotland threaten the line at the end, and Brough puts in a grubber that gets knocked dead by Fiji. The drop-out goes back to Scotland who take the tackle and the game.
FINAL SCORE: Scotland 18 – 16 Fiji
In the end, Fiji will be very glad they thumped France. Well played by Scotland, but they never threatened to come close to the required 28 point margin. At least they get to leave the competition with a victory.