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How the Wallabies could still survive Pool C

By AAP
The Wallabies could still survive Pool C - PA

The Wallabies’ World Cup in France remains alive – for another day at least – with Fiji failing to secure the maximum points needed to secure their quarter-final berth.

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Fiji needed a bonus point win over Georgia in their pool clash in Bordeaux but put the ball back in Australia’s court.

For while the popular Pacific islanders won in a thriller 17-12 on Saturday (Sunday AEDT), they didn’t get the necessary bonus point for scoring at least four tries that would have guaranteed their last-eight spot.

Video Spacer

Fiji post-match presser 39-9-2023

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Fiji post-match presser 39-9-2023

The Wallabies now face Portugal in Saint-Etienne on Sunday (Monday AEDT), also requiring a bonus point win.

But if Australia manage that to move to 11 points, their stay of execution still may only be extended for a week.

Sitting on 10 points, Fiji will face Portugal next Sunday and would still join unbeaten Wales in the play-offs by leaving Toulouse with victory – or even with a losing bonus point.

Fixture
Rugby World Cup
Australia
34 - 14
Full-time
Portugal
All Stats and Data

While the teams will be level, Fiji will advance due to having won their pool clash.

If Fiji don’t collect a bonus point for losing within seven points or fewer, Australia would make the quarter-finals.

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But the Fijians are determined to now finish the job against Portugal after overcoming their demanding test from the Georgians.

“Relieved,” admitted Fijian captain Waisea Nayacalevu, when asked how he felt.

“We didn’t manage to do a few things, dropped balls, put ourselves under pressure in the first half. What I told the boys, ‘We keep fighting, we keep focusing, keep on going, don’t back out’.

“And in the end in the second half we managed to get away with the win, so I’m proud of the boys.

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“For the record, we want to be a history-making team and that is our goal. We will take it step by step.”

The Wallabies said earlier in the day they would gather at their team hotel to watch the crucial clash – and for a long while they had plenty to cheer about.

Rugby World Cup

Pool A
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
France
3
3
0
0
13
2
New Zealand
3
2
1
0
10
3
Italy
3
2
1
0
10
4
Uruguay
3
1
2
0
5
5
Namibia
4
0
4
0
0
Pool B
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Ireland
3
3
0
0
14
2
South Africa
3
2
1
0
10
3
Scotland
3
2
1
0
10
4
Tonga
2
0
2
0
0
5
Romania
3
0
3
0
0
Pool C
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
Wales
3
3
0
0
14
2
Fiji
3
2
1
0
10
3
Australia
3
1
2
0
6
4
Georgia
3
0
2
1
3
5
Portugal
2
0
1
1
2
Pool D
P
W
L
D
PF
PA
PD
BP T
BP-7
BP
Total
1
England
3
3
0
0
14
2
Argentina
3
2
1
0
9
3
Japan
3
2
1
0
9
4
Samoa
3
1
2
0
6
5
Chile
4
0
4
0
0

Georgia came within a whisker of downing Fiji, with a race to the line in the 81st min ute between five-eighth Luka Matkava and fullback Ilaisa Droasese, with the Fijian booting the ball dead to secure the vital victory.

Fiji looked a weary shell of the team that outplayed Australia 22-15 in their second pool match.

World No.14 Georgia raced out to a 9-0 lead on the back of three penalty kicks and looked like they would extend that lead just before halftime only for the final pass of a long-range try to be ruled, rather dubiously, as forward.

The men in red again had their tails up early in the second half with former NRL star Semi Radradra given a yellow card for an intentional knock-on.

But Georgia were unable to capitalise.

Nayacalevu took matters into his own hands when he scored a miracle try in the 50th minute, somehow planting the ball while going backwards over the sideline.

Wallabies Pool C
Angus Bell is comforted by Wallabies teammates. Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images

After missing an earlier penalty strike, replacement halfback Frank Lomani didn’t miss in the 64th minute to put Fiji in the lead 10-9.

The in jured-ravaged Georgians kept toiling away but Vinaya Habosi grabbed a second try in the 67th minute to extend the lead to 17-9, no doubt putting Wallabies’ nerves on edge.

While Fiji chased another two tries to book their quarter-final spot, Georgia’s defence held firm and a penalty kick by Matkava even gave his team a sniff of an upset.

They were ultimately unable to score a winning try but at least make Australia’s clash with Portugal a live rubber.

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finn 3 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

11 Go to comments
S
Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

23 Go to comments
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