Vereniki Goneva scored four tries in Fiji’s 49-25 win against Namibia in a RWC match played in Rotorua.
Goneva scored the first of his quartet within five minutes of the kick-off, but it was Namibian Theuns Kotze who stole the show early on with three drop goals in five minutes. Kotze had opened the scoring with a 55 metre penalty and produced a quality effort on attack and in defence.
Namibia’s forwards, led by Saracens loose-forward Jacques Burger, were the better on display but Namibia could not cope with the individual attacking threat of the Fijians and Goneva was the recipient of wonderful interplay in the build-up to three of his four tries.
Kotze’s boot kept the Namibians in touch in the first half, but few anticipated Namibia – playing into the wind – would dominate the second half and play with as much enterprise as they did.
Namibia, forced to keep the ball in hand, prospered because of this positive mindset and scored two thrilling tries. The first, rounded off by lock Heinz Koll, was as good as anything Fiji produced. And some of the Fiji tries were magical to watch.
Namibia, having trailed 32-15 at half-time, fought back to 39-24 but could not produce points from a sustained period of pressure. Instead Fiji extended the lead through Seremaia Bai’s boot and the French-based Fijian left wing Naipolioni Nalaga completed the scoring in the final minute of play.
Goneva was named man of the match.