Lacking results and confidence during its last outings, Wales reassured itself on Sunday by dominating Fiji (32-26), at the Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux, for its entry into the running in the World Cup. Picked cold from the start, the Leek XV - under the eyes of Prince William - was able to raise its head and take the lead, scoring four tries by Adams (7th), North (29th), Rees-Zammit (48th) and Dee (66th). The Pacific players were also flattened four times by Waisea (13th), Tagitagivalu (17th) and Tuisova (73rd).
Once again opposed in the group stage, the Welsh and Fijians met for a World Cup classic. From the first minutes, and as usual, the Fijians sent the game wide but, initially, came across a good Welsh defense. And while the start of the match was rather in favor of Fiji, it was the Welsh who scored the first points of the evening. Firstly thanks to a penalty from Dan Biggar and then through Josh Adams, author of the first Welsh try after a breakthrough and good work from Georges North (7th).
Stung, the Fijians will react in line with their captain Waisea Nayacalevu. It is he who makes the difference and finds the interval for the Fijian response a few minutes later (14th). They will even take the advantage with a second try in quick succession after a sublime work by Nayacalevu and Radradra who offers the try to Tagitagivalu (17th). But Wales will not collapse and will come back by the foot of Biggar (24th) before regaining the advantage thanks to a try from Georges North (29th). If the end of the first period is more complicated for Wales, Warren Gatland's men manage to come back in the lead at the break after a try denied to the Fijians.
Shaken in the first half, the Welsh managed the second half better with an occupation and a kicking game that pushed the Fijians back into their camp. Little in danger, the Welsh then took advantage of some Fijian defensive generosity to attack when necessary. They therefore went for the offensive bonus with the try of an opportunistic Rees-Zammit (48th) then the one in power behind a penetrating group from Elliot Dee (66th).
Relegated to 18 points, Fiji's hopes were slim in the last quarter of an hour. But they believed in it and gave everything until the end. By pounding the Welsh line it was first Tuisova (73rd) who rekindled hope before believing in the impossible thanks to the fourth try from Mesake Doge (78th), synonymous with an offensive bonus. The Fijians even had the match point after an error at the foot of Liam Williams (80th). And while the space and the gap seemed made on a long pass to Semi Radradra, the hope of victory crumbled on a forward of the Fijian center.
Wales therefore come out with an improved victory but got scared at the end when the Fijians came close to the perfect blow with this victory on the gong which slips through their hands. Despite everything, they leave this meeting with two important points for the rest of the tournament. Next Saturday, the Welsh will challenge the modest Portuguese in Nice. While the Fijians, who have won the offensive and defensive bonus points, will play their qualification for the quarter-finals against the Wallabies in Saint-Étienne on Sunday.