Lions thwarted by Fijian finale


The English Lions slipped to a 20-18 defeat by Fiji Residents at Lawawa Park, Sigatoua, earlier today in the second game of their three-match tour.

The Lions, who had drawn 16-16 with the Residents on Saturday, had looked likely winners when Callum Marriott crossed on the hour and Joe Fox powered in five minutes later, Carl Puckering landing the last two of his three goals to help establish an 18-8 lead.

But Fiji hit back on 68 minutes with a touchdown for Mosese Qionimacawa, who improved his own score. And, with just a couple of minutes remaining, Joivilisi Naqitawa grabbed his second touchdown, Qionimacaw again adding the extras to deny the LIons.

The tourists had led 6-4 at the break, Jamie Tracey steaming in on eight minutes and Puckering improving. Fiji posted touchdowns on 24 and 58 minutes respectively by Pio Seci and Naqitawa.

England Manager Stuart Prior said of the unnamed match official: “It wasn’t the best refereeing, which was poor for an international match. Fiji BATI have agreed to appoint a more suitable referee for our last game, on Saturday.”