Fiji suffered another second defeat at the hands of Japan but again pushed their higher ranked opponents all the way.
Japan may have won the second of the two-test series 41-36 against Fiji, but their 19th ranked opponents again showed that they will be no pushovers in WXV3.
The hosts displayed dominance in most aspects of the game, particularly in exposing Fiji’s defence. Swift in their actions, they registered their first try within the opening few minutes of the first half to lead Fiji by 7-0.
Fiji’s Nunia Daunimoala scored a try to level the scores to 7-7, followed by Doreen Narokete impressively diving in for their second try to give Fiji the lead at 12-7.
The Japanese continued to test Fiji’s defence and were rewarded with a second try, and a successful conversion, to lead 14-12.
The hosts soon extended their lead to 21-12, after which a penalty with four minutes remaining in the clock before the break, took the score to 24-12.
But Fiji recovered and trailing 24-19 at half-time.
But it was Japan who scored first in the second-half taking the lead back to 10 points 29-19.
Fiji attempted to get back into the game, but Japan absorbed the pressure, before breaking out and extending their lead to 34-19.
Fiji managed to score their fourth try, through Merewairita Neivosa, narrowing the deficit to 34-24.
The hosts responded with their seventh try, leading by 41-24. Before Fiji’s Sulita Waisega also added her name to the scoresheet, making it 31-41. Ravutia then scored her second just minutes away from the full-time.