Hosts England endured an uncomfortable night before overcoming dogged Fiji 35-11 in their Rugby World Cup Pool A opener at Twickenham on Friday.
Seeking a second World Cup triumph, England opened up an 18-8 halftime lead through a penalty try and Mike Brown’s close-range effort while winger Nemani Nadolo took a high crossfield kick in the corner to get Fiji on the scoreboard.
The Pacific Islanders refused to be over-awed in front of 80 000 partisan fans, frustrating a sometimes ragged England with a succession of turnovers.
Ben Volavola’s penalty put Fiji within seven points heading into the final quarter before Brown eased home nerves with his second try and replacement Billy Vunipola crossed again in the last minute.
England next face Wales at Twickenham on September 26 while Fiji head to Cardiff to play Australia on Wednesday.