Runners claim Pacific Nations Cup

The Brumby Runners have claimed a two-point win over the Fijian Warriors to claim the Pacific Nations Cup at Viking Park.

The Warriors had a chance to grab the win after the final siren with a penalty goal from past half-way, but the shot was short leaving the Runners in final control with the score 30-28.

A penalty goal by Matt Toomua in the final-two minutes effectively sealed the Fijian’s fate after the lead changed hands on several occasions throughout the game.

Despite falling behind early after a penalty to Fijian fly-half Taniela Maravunawasawasa, the Runners moved out to lead 17-3 after tries to Clint Sills and Andrew Smith.

But a lapse in concentration by the ACT side let the Warriors back into the contest. Tries to winger Jona Tuitoga and flanker Aca Ratuva brought the Warriors within two points while a 35m field goal by Maravunawasawasa after the half-time siren took them to the sheds with a one-point lead 18-17.

Peter Kimlin worked hard in both attack and defence, using his massive frame to remove Fijian defenders from the ruck on a number of occasions. His physicality proved the difference for the Runners early in the second half, when constant pressure resulted in five points to both Jono Owen and Sam Carter to move the ACT team back into the lead.

But with Kimlin being rested and just 25 minutes to go, the Warriors again pulled themselves back in to the game through a penalty goal to Maravunawasawasa and try to Paula Karatu, but it was to no avail as the Runners clung to the most slender of leads.

Brumby Runners 30 (A Smith, C Sills, J Owen, S Carter, T Smith tries; M Toomua 1 cons, 1 pens) bt Fiji Warriors 28 (J Tuitoga, A Ratuva, P Karatu tries; T Maravunawasawasa 1 fg, 2 pens, 2 con).