Wales vs Fiji LIVE: Rugby result, final score and reaction from 2021 Autumn internationals

Follow live reaction from Cardiff after Wales held off a brave Fiji performance to claim their first win in the Autumn Nations Series

Jamie Braidwood
Sunday 14 November 2021 17:51
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Wales have held off a brave effort from 14-man Fiji to bounce back from consecutive defeats and secure their first victory of the Autumn Nations Series.

After visitors Fiji made an impressive start at the Principality Stadium by taking the lead through captain Waisea Nayacalevu, the match was seemingly set to turn when winger Eroni Sau was sent off for a swinging elbow on Alex Cuthbert.

But despite two further yellow cards, either side of half time, Fiji were able to retake the lead when Nayacalevu added his second in a sensational team score, after Wales had briefly hit back through Keiran Hardy and Ryan Elias.

And it wasn’t until late in the match that Wales were able to breathe comfortably, with Louis Rees-Zammit producing an electric finish after chasing down his own kick and player-of-the-match Liam Williams adding a sixth try when the clock was in the red.

Follow below for all the reaction from the Autumn Nations Series match:


Wales stage late fightback to deny 14-man Fiji in thrilling Cardiff contest

Wales survived a major fright against 14-man Fiji before claiming their first victory of the Autumn Nations Series campaign by winning 38-23 in Cardiff

Fiji had wing Eroni Sau sent off and two players sin-binned, but Wales found it tough going until wing Alex Cuthbert marked his first Test appearance for four years with a crucial try 13 minutes from time and Louis Rees-Zammit claimed a stunning solo touchdown.

Rees-Zammit’s 60-metre kick, chase and finish showcased his blistering pace, while hooker Ryan Elias touched down twice and there there were also tries for scrum-half Kieran Hardy and full-back Liam Williams, with Dan Biggar and Callum Sheedy each kicking two conversions.

Fiji, though, almost triumphed over adversity after Sau was red-carded for a dangerous tackle after 25 minutes. Captain Waisea Nayacalevu scored two tries – his second score being a spectacular team try – while fly-half Ben Volavola kicked 13 points.

Wales stage late fightback to deny 14-man Fiji in thrilling Cardiff contest

Hooker Ryan Elias touched down twice for the hosts.

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:51

Full time: Wales 38-23 Fiji

“We made it hard for ourselves,” says Wales head coach Wayne Pivac. “But this is what it’s all about. We had 17 or 18 players unavailable and it was a good experience for them to win a tight match.

“It’s something we’ve got to address [speaking about how his side played against 13 men]. It happened a couple of times in the Six Nations where we played against 14 men and we went off the boil. It’s a mental thing more than anything.”

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:32

Full time: Wales 38-23 Fiji

Wales captain Ellis Jenkins:

“They’re a great team. They're full of exciting players and are really tough to stop. But credit to our boys, we stuck to our guns. It was a bit messy at times but credit it to them, it was tough from start to finish.

“They caused us a lot of problems at the breakdown. It’s a big win for us and there’s a lot to work on, but it’s a big result after the past couple of weeks.”

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:30

FULL TIME! Wales 38-23 Fiji

Sheedy adds to two mores points to seal the win for Wales, but what an incredible display from the 14, and sometimes 13, men of Fiji. An incredible effort from them to be so competitive throughout the match, and in the end the 15-point margin flatters Wales following late scores from Rees-Zammit and Williams.

That was an incredible match, and Fiji emerge with a ton of credit.

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:19

TRY! Wales 36 -23 Fiji (WILLIAMS 82’)

And that’s why! Tompkins makes the break through the middle of the Fiji defence before passing to Williams on his right, who dives for the line!

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:16

Wales 31 -23 Fiji

80 mins: Fiji have the ball deep in their half as the clock ticks into the red. Matawalu makes a break to get to halfway, before Cuthbert takes down Tuimaba on the wing. Volavola goes for the crossfield kick, but Wales win it back.

They’re keeping it in play, though!

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:16

Wales 31 -23 Fiji

79 mins: Wales take a sigh of relief as they win the penalty on halfway - and Sheedy clears the ball deep into the Fiji half.

Williams is awarded player of the match and Wales are almost there.

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:13

Wales 31 -23 Fiji

77 mins: So close! Fiji attempt to roll the maul from five metres out, but they’re held up by the Wales defence and it leads to a clearance kick from Sheedy.

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:12

Wales 31 -23 Fiji

76 mins: Fiji earn a quick penalty and keep possession following a lineout from 10 metres out. They’re ramping up the pressure with minutes to go!

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:11

Wales 31 -23 Fiji

It stands! That turn of pace from Rees-Zammit was breathtaking.

Sheedy knocks the conversion through to extend Wales’ lead to eight points.

Jamie Braidwood14 November 2021 17:07

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