Hooker Carlos Arboleya crossed for Uruguay’s first World Cup try since 2003, when Pablo Lemoine, now the head coach, touched down in a 111-13 loss to England in Brisbane.
Agustin Ormaechea also scored for Uruguay, was sent off for two yellow cards and was named the official man of the match in an eventful evening for the scrum-half.
But Fiji had too much pace and power for their amateur opponents, scoring through two penalty tries, Nemia Kenatale, Glasgow lock Leone Nakarawa, Tevita Cavubati, Kini Murimurivalu and Nemani Nadolo, who finished with a 17-point haul in front of a record stadium attendance of 30,048.
Fiji lost to England in the opening game – one of three games in 13 days, with defeats to Australia and Wales following – and Uruguay face the already-eliminated hosts in Manchester on Saturday.
Uruguay were the only team in the tournament not to have scored a try prior to the contest.
And, despite the wet ball being the proverbial bar of soap, both sides ran at every opportunity.
Fiji’s forwards were dominant, while Nadolo, who was suspended for last Thursday’s match with Wales, was a destructive force on the left wing. It was Nadolo who crossed in the corner for Fiji’s seventh try and he converted himself as his side finished on a high.
Fiji: Tries: Penalty 2, Kenatale, Nakarawa, Cavubati, Murimurivalu, Nadolo. Cons: Nadolo 6.
Uruguay: Tries: Arboleya, Ormaechea. Cons: Ormaechea. Pens: A. Duran.
Fiji: Murimurivalu, Tikoirotuma, Goneva, Botia, Nadolo, Volavola, Kenatale, Ma’afu, Koto Vuli, Atalifo, Ratuniyarawa, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu, Qera, Matadigo. Replacements: Nagusa for Goneva (74), Matavesi for Volavola (69), Seniloli for Kenatale (62), Veikoso for Koto Vuli (79), Koroi for Atalifo (80), Cavubati for Ratuniyarawa (58), Ravai for Waqaniburotu (69), Talei for Matadigo (57).
Uruguay: Mieres, Gibernau, Prada, A. Vilaseca, Silva, A. Duran, Ormaechea, Corral, Arboleya, Sagario, S. Vilaseca, Zerbino, Gaminara, Beer, Nieto. Replacements: Bulanti for Gibernau (80), Etcheverry for A. Duran (80), Sanguinetti for Corral (41), Lamanna for Beer (71). Not Used: Kessler, O. Duran, Palomeque, De Freitas.
Referee: JP Doyle (RFU)