Fantastic Fiji Make Wales v Aussies A Fight For World Cup Survival

Wales are suddenly facing a likely do-or-die World Cup showdown against Australia after Fiji’s stunning victory over the Wallabies blew Pool C wide open.

Fiji made a huge statement at the Rugby World Cup with their first win over Australia for 69 years, a thoroughly deserved victory that left the twice world champion Wallabies shellshocked.

The result in Saint-Etienne – a thrilling 22-15 victory for the Fijians – was the worst possible outcome for Wales, with Fiji picking up four points and the Aussies gaining a priceless bonus point.

It leaves Wales on top of the pool with a maximum 10 points from two matches, but with plenty of jeopardy over their place in the quarter-finals.

They are likely to need at least a losing bonus point against the Aussies this weekend to avoid being squeezed into third place in the final reckoning.


With their two toughest matches out of the way, Fiji have six points, thanks to their two losing bonus points salvaged against Wales late on.

Two maximums against Georgia and Portugal would give Fiji a total of 16 points.


If Australia beat Wales and take five points from their game against Portugal, that would give them 15 points.

Should Wales beat the Aussies, they will be expected to top the pool with a probable four wins, if they overcome Georgia.

But if they lose to the Aussies, and fail to pick up a losing bonus point, the most Wales could muster would be 15 – that could put them out of the tournament as the Wallabies would have won the head-to-head.


Australia coach Eddie Jones said: “It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Fiji.

“They outplayed us, particularly around the ruck. They had three times more turnovers than us and in a close game, that’s the difference. For some reason, we were just off.

“If you look at the stats we dominated and scored two tries to one, but we weren’t quite ourselves so there’s going to be some soul searching. It makes the Wales game pretty important.’


Denied a likely victory over Wales in their opener by a dropped pass, Fiji overpowered the Australians with direct running, explosive tackling and 11 turnovers.

Barring those in green and gold, a packed house at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard cheered each Fiji attack and every single one of the 18 penalties awarded against the Australians.

A try from centre Josua Tuisova and five penalties did the damage on the scoreboard and the Fijians backed their steely defence to keep the desperate Wallabies out in a dramatic last 10 minutes.

“It’s history for us, I just want to thank the boys,” said Tuisova, who was named man of the match. “We treated this match as a final, it’s just incredible to win.”

Australia looked better after full back Ben Donaldson moved up to take over at fly half, but Vunivalu’s late score was not enough and the Wallabies must now beat Wales in a huge clash next Sunday to avoid a likely first pool stage exit at the World Cup.


On Saturday, Wales beat Portugal 28-8 to make it two wins from two and a maximum 10 points gained.

“We are delighted to get 10 points from the first two games. If you had offered that to us before we came out here, we would have taken your hand off,” said Wales assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys.

“There were a lot of boys who hadn’t played for a while, we made a lot of changes. It was great that we got a bonus-point, and they’ve also got a fair bit of game-time.”

“We made a load of changes to give boys game-time and also to put them in a position to go for selection against Australia. To get the bonus-point in the manner that we did, right at the end, showed our resilience and desire to win.”

“It’s going to be a hell of a game,” added Humphreys about Sunday’s contest against Australia.