Tonga qualifies for Rugby World Cup 2019

Samoa captain David Lemi and Fiji's Akapusi Qera pose with the Webb Ellis Cup ahead of Saturday's Pacific Nations Cup decider which doubles as a World Cup qualifier

Scrumhalf Henry Seniloli scored a hattrick of tries as Fiji beat Samoa 38-16 in the final match of the Pacific Nations Cup on Saturday to propel Tonga into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Meanwhile, Tonga will play in the World Cup's Pool of Death beside England, France, Argentina and the United States.

David Lemi, making his 50th global appearance for Samoa, was the home side's only try scorer with a scintillating first-half finish.

If Samoa fail to take that route - by beating the victor of Czech Republic or Portugal versus the second-place team in the 2018 Rugby Europe Championship (excluding Georgia, who have already qualified) - they will be pitched into the global repechage tournament.

As for Fiji, they finish top of the Oceania group and go into Pool D, along with Australia, Wales and Georgia, with a last spot still to be decided.

A win would do the trick for the Manu for sure, but even a narrow defeat would be good enough, if the margin is less than seven and they collect a vital bonus point. Samoa equalised through captain David Lemi when scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i caught Fiji napping with a quick tapped penalty. It is also our fourth test win in a row and I am told that is a record for Fiji.

A try by replacement lock Api Ratuniyarawa sealed the victory in the 75th minute.

Seniloli scored his second when winger Vereniki Goneva made a break down the right flank.

"It was a great win and I think our bench was great and it showed in the second half".

"Of course we have also qualified for RWC 2019 and we will focus on that now".

The third-placed team then faces a playoff against a European side, with the losing team entering the repechage tournament.

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