Category Archives: Australia

Fiji needs two bonus points wins (with a whiff of a chance) to advance

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Flanker Peceli Yato attacks for Fiji in their first pool match against Australia last Saturday. Photo: World Rugby

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.

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Wales celebrate after their first pool match bonus points win against Georgia. Photo: World Rugby

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!

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Flying Fijian Waisea Nayacalevu runs away from the Australians in their first pool match. Photo: World Rugby

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Australia, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Georgia, Pool D, Uruguay, Wales

Fiji shows glimpses of greatness

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Peceli Yato and Ben Volavola hold up Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi at Sapporo. Photo: AP

The Flying Fijians played an expansive, flamboyant game in the first half of their opening Rugby World Cup match but bowed out graciously to a better team in the second half.
The cohesiveness of the forwards and backline was sublime forcing the clueless twice world champions to play second fiddle.
The final 21-39 scoreline hardly reflected on the actual action on field activity which saw Fiji still leading the Australians at the end of the third quarter 21-20.
Fiji should hold their heads high and focus on their next assignment against the charismatic Uruguayans on Wednesday at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.
The precise manouvering and reckless abandon shown by the starting lineup in the first half is reminiscent of the Fijians of the 60s and 70s that I watched growing up.

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Australian skipper Michael Hooper is held by Fijian centre Waisea Nayacalevu at the Sapporo Dome. Photo: World Rugby

The hardened resolve though through years of professional discipline in playing European premier leagues and Super Rugby has sharpened those features to another level.
Furthermore, the steady guidance from the astute managing of Kiwi John McKee unveils an improved disciplined side with a promising Japanese tournament.
There were a few questionable calls:
* Yes, the questionable call not to punish a red card offence on Australian wing Reece Hodge on Peceli Yato was appalling
* Skipper Dominiko Waqaniburotu who questioned the call was told by the referee that the TMO had not seen any infringement
* Why was Yato forcefully put out of the game for a possible concussion caution when he at that stage was the most devastating attacker for the forwards
* Yes the yellow card on Lepani Botia was questionable.
The above calls were made in the heat of the battle and we should take our cue from coach McKee who said after the match that we cannot blame the ref.
We have a very good chance to make it to quarterfinals still by making sure we beat Uruguay and Georgia before the Welsh showdown.
If we can account for all three teams we might play the Wallabies again in the final, if.
That is if after qualifying for the knockout stage Fiji beats England in the quarters and accounting for the Kiwis in the semifinal.
This is a very improbable route but not impossible, after the boost we get after getting to the knockout stage, Fiji will get second wind and blow these two teams out of the tournament.
Bring it on.

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Fiji celebrates a try by Peceli Yato to put Fiji in front. Photo: AP

 

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Filed under 2019 Rugby World Cup, Australia, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Focus on rwc, Opinion, Wallabies

Wallabies pick 52 percent Islanders

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Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi has been named the vice captain for the World Cup. Photo: Rugby Australia

The Wallabies have named 52 percent; 16 players from the Pacific Islands last Friday in their 31 man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan which kicks off on September 20. Continue reading

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Abundance of resources

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Wallaby number 8 Isi Naisarani wins a lineout against the Springboks in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP

The recent debut of three Fijians in separate Tier One nation teams has highlighted the fact that the Fiji Rugby Union is sitting on a wealth of resources that if tapped dilligently and frugally will bring dividends in abundance. Continue reading

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Filed under Australia, Bledisloe Cup, Fiji Rugby Union, France, French Club, HSBC Sevens World Series, Manu Samoa, New Zealand, PNC, Rio de Janeiro, Rugby World Cup, Samoa, South Africa, Springboks, Super Rugby, Tonga, Top 14, Wallabies

Fiji or Japan to win 2019 RWC

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The Brave Blossoms celebrate after upsetting the Springboks in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

 

Just like the violent tsunami that hit Kamaishi, the aftereffects of the 2011 great Sendai 9.1 earthquake, a Tier 2 nation will win the Japanese Rugby World Cup after the final at the International Stadium in Yokohama on November 2.

Either hosts Japan or Fiji will win the number IX showcase event after Tier One nations New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and England dominated proceedings in the past eight tournaments.

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Filed under All Blacks, Argentina, Australia, England, Fiji, Flying Fijians, Japan, Opinion, Pacific Nations Cup, Rugby World Cup, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Springboks, Wales, Wallabies

Foley’s last-minute penalty seals victory for Australia

Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley celebrates the successful penalty which won the match for Australia. Photo: World Rugby

Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley celebrates the successful penalty with skipper Stephen Moore which won the match against the Scots. Photo: World Rugby

Fly-half Bernard Foley struck a last-ditch penalty just 30 seconds from the end to clinch Australia a 35-34 victory over Scotland in a Twickenham quarter-final awash with eight tries, drama and controversy.

With his team trailing 34-32 after an interception try from Scotland centre Mark Bennett in the 73rd minute, Foley snatched victory for the Wallabies who scored five tries to Scotland’s three to make the semi-finals an all-southern hemisphere affair for the first time in the history of the World Cup. Australia will take on Argentina in the last four, while New Zealand meet South Africa.

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Heat on England if Wales beat Fiji: Gatland

Gatland says the pressure will be on England if Wales beat Fiji. Photo: Getty Images

Gatland says the pressure will be on England if Wales beat Fiji. Photo: Getty Images

Wales face the Pacific Islanders on Thursday after their bruising 28-25 win over the hosts at Twickenham.

England then face Australia two days later.

“If we beat Fiji we’ll put quite a bit of pressure on England I suppose because they’ll have to beat Australia,” said Gatland, who has three fresh injury worries.

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Filed under Australia, England, Fiji, Pool A, Rugby World Cup, Wales