Braves Blossoms lost their steam in their quarterfinals against South Africa. Photo: NikkeiAsia
In spite of the last minute effort by the Welsh to comeback and snatch a win from France; the Red Dragons look the better contender to advance to the finals against England in a fortnight.
Watching the game on television last night, the French had done enough to win the match but didn’t have the killer punch to amass enough points to keep the margin clear from the grasp of the Six Nations champion, Wales.
Scrum-half forced to play out of position reveals he and Gareth Davies re-create try that beat England for fun
The experiences of scrum-half Lloyd Williams sum up the story of Wales so far at Rugby World Cup 2015.
The Welsh have reached a quarter-final meeting against South Africa on Saturday despite suffering a remarkable series of injuries. Williams has twice been forced to play out of position on the wing when he has come on as a replacement.
Referee Craig Joubert has refereed lots of important Wales Tests in the past. Photo: WalesOnline
Man in the middle for Wales vs Australia, Craig Joubert, has refereed 54 Tests
As the pool of death gets down to the nitty gritty, we look at the man in the middle, tasked with keeping calm in the Twickenham cauldron between Wales and Australia on Saturday
Craig Joubert is an experienced referee from South Africa, who has been on the international scene since 2003.
The 37-year-old, from Durban, has officiated in 54 Tests, including the 2011 World Cup final between New Zealand and France.
Wales coach Warren Gatland watches his team play Fiji last Friday. Photo: WalesOnline
After surviving what he called the “group of hell,” Wales coach Warren Gatland was scathing of a Rugby World Cup draw that was based on rankings three years ago and resulted in his team ending up in Pool A with two-time champion Australia, 2003 winner England, and Fiji, a team that easily could have contended for the quarterfinals.
England’s back-to-back losses to Wales and Australia meant a host team became the first to miss out on the quarterfinals. Gatland, a New Zealander, was stuck between a rock and a hard place while watching the game at Twickenham on Saturday — needing Australia to beat England to ensure the pool would be decided before his Wales team meets the Wallabies next week, which came with the unpalatable concept of being a Kiwi supporting his archrival Aussies in a sporting contest.
Fiji’s Josh Matavesi misses a tackle against Wales winger George North in the Pool A clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photo: DPA
Flying Fijians fly-half Joshua Matavesi says the team always comes first despite mis-reports on his confusion and de-motivation by Fiji’s treatment during Rugby World Cup (RWC2015).
Speaking from the Fiji team-base in Swansea, Wales yesterday Matavesi said; “I wish I personally could have played a bigger role but the team always comes first.”
Wales coach Warren Gatland says Fiji’s scrum put them under pressure. Photo: WalesOnline
Wales coach Warren Gatland was relieved to get a win over Fiji despite missing out on a bonus point in a thrilling game in Cardiff.
The Welsh looked well-set to pick up maximum points when they led 17-3 after half an hour, with two tries under their belts.
However from there Fiji grew into the game, and even threatened an upset when they got back to within four points early in the second half.
Wales players show exhaustion more than celebration after the final whistle. Photo: WalesOnline
Wales beat Fiji 23-13 at the Millennium Stadium but failure to secure a bonus point win means their Pool A fate is far from certain
Never mind a bonus point, Wales will be mightily relieved to escape from the Millennium Stadium with a victory after a compelling and frantic World Cup dust-up with Fiji.
Fiji head coach John McKee leads Fiji into three impressive games against the best. Photo: Times UK
Fiji coach John McKee admits it’s frustrating to still be without a point despite three impressive displays in the World Cup.
Having already lost hard-fought games against England and Australia, Fiji were beaten 23-13 in Cardiff by Wales, in a game that could have gone either way.