Fiji needs a miracle to advance to the playoffs of the Rugby World Cup after the shock 27-30 loss to Uruguay yesterday at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.
With the two points gained; one from the four tries scored and the other point by losing by less the seven points; Fiji needs to see the results from the seeded teams; Australia and especially Wales to falter with no bonus points to advance.
If Fiji gets maximum bonus points wins, five points each, in both remaining matches against Georgia, next Thursday, October 3; and Wales the following Wednesday, October 9; then Fiji will close out the pool matches on 12 points.
Both leading pool D teams Australia and Wales have five points each after their bonus points win in their first matches; Uruguay is third on the table with four points; and Georgia is at the bottom of the pile with zero points.
Australia’s match against Wales on Sunday, September 29; will decide who tops the pool and the loser relegated to second.
If Australia wins with a bonus point to lead with 10 points and Wales lose without a point, the Welsh will stay on five points.
If Wales wins maximum against Uruguay and loses to Fiji without a bonus point then the Welsh close the pool matches with 10 points which will see Fiji advance to the playoffs.
If Wales gets some bonus points in the losses to both Australia and Fiji then they gain between one point to four points which will see the pendulum swing their way to clinch the second playoff berth with the Aussies if the Welsh get three to four bonus points.
If the Welsh gets two bonus points from the losses to Fiji and Australia, then the two end up with 12 points each and the tallying of scores from all four matches with the better one advancing.
If Wales beat Australia and Uruguay in their remaining matches; then Wales and Australia advance; on the condition that Australia beats their two remaining pool matches against Georgia and Uruguay after Wales.
So for Fiji’s whiff of a chance and to go on to the knockout stage; the Flying Fijians will have to win both remaining matches convincingly and hope Wales loses badly to Australia and Fiji without bonuses.
The above scenarios are totally dependent on Uruguay returning to the status quo and losing their remaining matches against Australia, Wales and Georgia.
Otherwise if Uruguay defeats Georgia and one of the seeded teams; then Uruguay will advance to the playoffs with the other seeded team and Fiji and the losing seeded team catch early flights home.
Here’s hoping that Fiji wins maximum points against Georgia and Wales and Wales does not gain bonus points losses against Fiji and Australia.
Happy points calculations!