RUGBY: : Ireland tested to limit in narrow win over Fiji

Darren Sweetnan opens the scoring for Ireland against Fiji
Darren Sweetnan opens the scoring for Ireland against Fiji


Ireland registered their second win from two in their November Guinness Test series, but they had to dig deep to eventually put the Fijians down.

There was not the same controlled confident display from what was a second-string Irish side - Joe Schmidt making 13 changes to the starting side which had defeated South Africa with aplomb a week earlier.

Having led 17-3 at one stage, that lead was cut to nothing when the Fijians drew level early in the second half.

But replacement outhalf Ian Keatley was to kick two penalties which eventually nudged Ireland home.

A bit of dancing from fly-half Joey Carbery opens things up and he finds Darren Sweetnam on the outside to go in for the opening score, Carbery unable to convert from the toucnhline.

Fiji score a try against Ireland

Fiji score a try against Ireland

Fly-half Ben Volavola goals a penalty through the uprights to put Fiji on the board.

Stuart McCloskey and Andrew Conway combined well to see winger Dave Kearney in on the opposite side, Careberry again failing with the extras.

Kearney was over again after a comedy of errors, but on TMO review the way the whole thing started was a knock-on by Coinway and the score was ruled out.

However, Jack Conan charges in from halfway after turnover ball to dot down for Ireland, this time Careberry slootting over his first conversion of the evening for a 17-3 lead.

Just before the break a great little dink from Nemani Nadolo sees him turns on the gas. He finds Henry Seniolo who slides in under the post and Volavola converts to make it a seven point game as the sides go in at the break.

Ireland set up a three on two on the left hand side but Kearney forces the pass and it's picked off by Fiji wing and former Ulster player Timoci Nagusa who has the pace to cross the whitewash.

Volavola slots an easy conversion to level the scores.

Conway is unlucky not to get the bounce of a ball he kicked ahead and chased, but Keatley nudges Ireland in front with a penalty on 66 minutes.

But it is all level again as Volavola bangs a long range effort over.

With eight minutes to go Keatley lands another penalty for the hosts to make it 23-20.