Wales 17-13 Fiji

By Gareth RobertsBBC Sport Wales
Highlights: Wales 17-13 Fiji
Autumn internationals: Wales v Fiji
Wales (17) 17
Tries: North, Cuthbert, penalty; Cons: Priestland
Fiji (6) 13
Tries: Nadolo; Pens: Nadolo (2); Cons: Nadolo
Attendance: 61,326

Wales won a scrappy encounter against battling Fiji, who played most of the second half with 14 men after prop Campese Ma'afu was sent off.

George North and Alex Cuthbert went over for the hosts before Fiji's Nemani Nadolo kicked two penalties.

A collapsed maul cost Fiji a penalty try, which Rhys Priestland converted for a 17-6 lead at the break.

Nadolo's interception try off a Priestland pass, plus the conversion, at least gave Wales a late scare.

Wales - beaten 33-28 by Australia last weekend - produced an outstanding opening try as Priestland, Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams combined to send North over unopposed.

Wales stand-in skipper Gethin Jenkins
"We'll take a win but we are disappointed with our performance. We lacked basic skills and lost the ball too often. But all credit to Fiji - they came here and gave us a hell of a game."

But Warren Gatland's side were guilty of sins that will have world champions New Zealand relishing their meeting at the same venue next Saturday.

After Cuthbert's fluffed take of the kick-off against Australia, this time lock Luke Charteris fumbled Josh Matavesi's lofted drop kick.

Fiji exploited Wales' lack of composure at the restart after Priestland missed with his conversion attempt from North's try, and there were two more failures from drop-out 22s before Cuthbert went over for the hosts' second try.

A solid scrum was followed by a ruck from which returning veteran scrum-half Mike Phillips and Priestland linked up to put Cuthbert over at the corner.

Nadolo, the 20st centre, made his mark with strong bursts and his presence was a point of concern for Wales.

The pressure told for Nadolo to kick Fiji's first penalty, and his second - after Scott Baldwin illegally stole possession on the floor - left them trailing 10-6.

Jonathan Davies, former Wales fly-half
"It was a terrible game - stop and start with a lot of turnovers. There was no kind of structure or direction in the Welsh game; they should have put the Fijians away and it should have been an easy victory."

However, he missed the third attempt after captain Akapusi Qera wasted a three-on-one overlap.

When the pressure returned to the other end of the field, Ma'afu dragged down a maul and was sin-binned.

In the Nottingham prop's absence, Fiji collapsed another maul and French referee Pascal Gauzere awarded the hosts a penalty try. Priestland sent over his first conversion.

Ma'afu's sending-off for a second yellow card offence - he took out the airborne Bradley Davies at a line-out - left Fiji with 14 men with 25 minutes remaining.

Wales were also denied after the outstanding Liam Williams was deemed not to have released the ball after being tackled, rendering Taulupe Faletau's follow-up run to the line irrelevant.

Nadolo's interception try gave Fiji hope in the final minutes, but Wales held on.

Wales: L Williams, Cuthbert, S Williams, Roberts, North, Priestland, M Phillips; Jenkins (captain), Baldwin, Lee, Davies, Charteris, Lydiate, Tipuric, Faletau.

Replacements: J King for D Lydiate 59, R Jones for Lee 59, Smith for Jenkins 65, A W Jones for L Charteris 65.

Fiji: Talebula, Nayacalevu, Goneva, Nadolo, Tikoirotuma, Matavesi, Matawalu; Ma'afu, Koto, Saulo, Nakarawa, Cavubati, Waqaniburotu, Matadigo, Qera (captain).

Replacements: Yanuyanutawa for Matadigo 43- 46, 60, N Soqeta for M Saulo 65, Nagusa for Goneva 71, Seniloli for Matawalu 71, M Ravulo for D Waqaniburotu 71.

Wales" George North celebrates scoring the opening try during the Dove Men Series match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
George North celebrates scoring the opening try
Fiji's Vereniki Goneva hands off Wales' Mike Phillips
Wales were made to battle hard by Fiji for their victory
Fiji's Nemani Nadolo
Nemani Nadolo scores a late interception try to give Fiji hope
Wales struggled to produce their best form ahead of next week's game against world champions New Zealand