12 Nov 2018

Sport: Yellow cards seal Flying Fijians fate vs Scotland

4:18 pm on 12 November 2018

Flying Fijians rugby coach John McKee was left ruing ill-discipline at key moments in his side's 54-17 defeat by Scotland at the weekend.

The tourists opened the scoring in Edinburgh via a Ben Volavola penalty and recovered from 14-3 down after 20 minutes to regain the lead following converted tries to number eight Viliame Mata and centre Semi Radradra.

But the Pacific Nations Cup holders suffered a double blow when locks Tevita Cavubati - who set up Fiji's second try - and Leone Nakarawa were both sent to the sin-bin shortly before half-time for infringing in the maul, reducing Fiji to just 13 players.

Leone Nakarawa was yellow carded in Fiji's defeat in Scotland.

Leone Nakarawa was yellow carded in Fiji's defeat in Scotland. Photo: AFP

The home side capitalised on their numerical advantage with Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland dotting down either side of the half-time interval to open up an 11 point lead before running away with the match with another four second-half tries.

John McKee said it was a frustrating result as the teams had been evenly matched during the first 40 minutes.

"We went into the game with high expectations and I felt our preparation had been good but on the day it wasn't to be," he said.

"[It was] disappointing that at half-time we were right in the game - two yellow cards right on half time really caused us some problems and Scotland scored a try just either side of half time.

"At that point we were actually up 17-14 and the yellow cards and the try just before half-time and the try just after half-time it took the game away from us it did and Scotland really went on from there."

Semi Radradra scored one of Fiji's two tries at Murrayfield.

Semi Radradra scored one of Fiji's two tries at Murrayfield. Photo: AFP

It was also a match to forget for Fiji fullback Setareki Tuicuva, who was forced from the field after only 23 minutes on his test debut after fracturing a bone in his foot.

"It's a bit disappointing for a young guy who had his first opportunity playing for the Flying Fijians for his match to end (so early and in that way)," said McKee.

"He's out of the tour for us but everyone else is ok and Josua Tuisova, who missed the Scottish test due to an injury suffered in his club game the weekend before, he's been cleared and he will be rejoining us and he will be available for selection this week (against Uruguay)."

Manu Samoa also made a losing start to their November tour, pipped 30-29 in the final minute against the USA, while Tonga outscored a French Barbarians team 49-38.