Wales have avoided embarrassment from 14-man Fiji in labouring to a flattering 38-23 win at Principality Stadium – but the victory could cost them some key personnel for their upcoming Test against the Wallabies.
Fiji winger Eroni Sau was red-carded in the 25th minute while his team was leading, and Fiji played 20 more minutes with 13 men, but Wales couldn’t grab the lead for good until the 67th minute.
Even then, the 24-23 go-ahead try came from a Fiji error – a missed lineout catch – and ended up being dotted down in the corner by Alex Cuthbert, playing his first test in more than four years.
Another Fiji error, a loose pass on Wales’ 22, ended up with the other wing, Louis Rees-Zammit, chipping from halfway and beating the cover to the ball at the back of the in-goal for 31-23.
The brilliant and tenacious Fijians never gave up and were held up over the line, but another error was returned to the tryline in overtime by Liam Williams, making his first start since an appendectomy.
Wales ended a four-Test winless run, all at home, and coach Wayne Pivac, a former Fiji coach, appreciated their fortune.