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Thread: Fiji into Quarter Finals!!!

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    Fiji into Quarter Finals!!!

    Fiji hang on to defeat Wales 38-34


    NANTES, 29 September - Fiji withstood a ferocious second-half comeback to edge Wales 38-34 in a thrilling Pool B decider and reach the quarter-finals at Stade de la Beaujoire on Saturday.

    They now face South Africa next Sunday in Marseille while Wales are eliminated following the pool phase for the third time.

    Fiji have reached the quarter-finals on just one occasion, back at the inaugural RWC 1987 in New Zealand.

    Graham Dewes was the hero with a try just three minutes from time after Wales came back from 25-3 to lead late into the second half.

    Akapui Qera who scored Fji's first try during a 25 point run in 10 first half minutes took a costly yellow card just before half time which allowed Wales to come out strongly after the break and score three tries in ten minutes.

    Shane Williams scored his sixth try of the tournament with a dashing run to give Wales the lift they needed on five minutes after the break and Mark Thomas and Mark Jones scored in quick succession as Wales erased the deficit to regain the lead at 29-25.

    Fiji picked up their first points of the half with a Nicky Little penalty to pull within a point and then the Fiji number 10 converted his sixth kick from eight attempts to edge his side back in front 31-29.

    Martyn Williams then intercepted a stray Fiji pass and raced down the pitch to give Wales a 34-31 lead with just six minutes remaining.

    Fiji threw everything forward in search of the winning try and Dewes came to the rescue with the score that was only given after the referee went to the video referee.

    Wales had opened the first half scoring with a Stephen Jones penalty but Fiji turned the game on its head with 25 points in 10 minutes which appeared to give them control.

    They went in front for the first time on 16 minutes when a drive towards the Welsh line allowed captain Mosese Rauluni to feed Qera to break between two defenders and score under the posts.

    Little made no mistake with the conversion and Fiji led 7-3.

    Vilimoni Delasau pushed Fjii further in front three minutes later with a spectacular try as he chased down his own kick, which bounced behind the Welsh try-line, and he grabbed the ball out of the air with one hand to score his side's second try.

    Little missed the conversion but made amends moments later with two penalties in three minutes as Fiji continued their momentum to lead 18-3.

    Fiji's spectacular opening 40 minutes continued with another long break that was only initially held up by the Welsh defence before Kele Leawere barged over the line from close range for their third try of the half.

    Wales narrowed the gap to 25-10 after some sustained pressure when Alix Popham went over and James Hook converted.

    Then came Qera's costly yellow card for kneeing just on the stroke of half time which allowed Wales to get back in the match.


    Fiji 38

    Tries:
    Graham Dewes (2), Vilimoni Delasau, Kele Leawere, Akapusi Qera

    Goals:
    Nick Little (4pg 3c)

    Wales 34

    Tries:
    Mark Jones, Alix Popham, Gareth Thomas, Martyn Williams, Shane Williams

    Goals:
    James Hook (1c), Stephen Jones (1pg 2c)

    Yellow card: Qera (40, Fiji, raised knee in the tackle)

    Fiji:

    1 Graham Dewes,
    2 Sunia Koto,
    3 Jone Railomo,
    4 Kele Leawere,
    5 Ifereimi Rawaqa,
    6 Semisi Naevo,
    7 Akapusi Qera,
    8 Sisa Koyamaibole,

    9 Mosese Rauluni(c),
    10 Nicky Little,
    11 Isoa Neivua,
    12 Seremaia Bai,
    13 Seru Rabeni,
    14 Vilimoni Delasau,
    15 Kameli Ratuvou

    16 Vereniki Sauturaga,
    17 Henry Qiodravu,
    18 Wame Lewaravu,
    19 Aca Ratuva,
    20 Jone Daunivucu,
    21 Norman Ligairi,
    22 Sireli Bobo

    Wales:

    1 Gethin Jenkins,
    2 Matthew Rees,
    3 Chris Horsman,
    4 Alun-Wyn Jones,
    5 Ian Evans,
    6 Colin Charvis,
    7 Martyn Williams,
    8 Alix Popham,

    9 Dwayne Peel,
    10 Stephen Jones,
    11 Shane Williams,
    12 James Hook,
    13 Tom Shanklin,
    14 Mark Jones,
    15 Gareth Thomas

    16 Thomas Rhys Thomas,
    17 Duncan Jones,
    18 Ian Gough,
    19 Michael Owen,
    20 Michael Phillips,
    21 Jamie Robinson,
    22 Dafydd James


    Little doubt for Springboks clash

    From correspondents in Nantes, France
    September 30, 2007


    NICKY Little, a key figure in Fiji's stunning 38-34 Rugby World Cup Pool B win over Wales, is in doubt for the quarter-final against South Africa in Marseille next weekend with a knee injury.

    The fly half, who kicked 18 points at the Stade de la Beaujoire as Fiji reached the last eight for the first time in 20 years, was carried off on a stretcher towards the end of a thrilling match.

    "He's been taken to hospital and we will assess the medical report later," Fiji coach Ilie Tabua said.

    Fiji's dramatic win saw it secure second place behind Australia in Pool B.

    Agence France-Presse

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    Last edited by Burgs; 30-09-07 at 11:49.
    "Bloody oath we did!"

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    Thank God someone else sat up for that.

    WHAT A GAME!!!!!! RUGBYYYYYYYYYYY

    Bet it sucks to be Rupeni Caucau at the moment - what a tit.

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  3. #3
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    Looks like the Wales head coach job will be opening up soon.... I wonder if Scott Johnson will take it if he doesn't become the new Wallabies coach?

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    Outside of our own (Wallaby) WC titles, I don't think I have enjoyed a Rugby result more, what a great result!
    Will have details up as they come to hand.

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    great game. tense finish.

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    Fiji stun Wales

    Fiji have made it through to the World Cup quarter-finals after an extraordinary 38-34 win over Wales in Nantes on Saturday.

    Forget Argentina's win over France earlier this month. Forget, too, Samoa's victory over Wales in the 1991 edition of this tournament - and the repeat performance in 1999. This game will go down as the greatest World Cup upset ever. It was a classic - sporting theatre at its very best (no kidding).

    As the Fijians whooped and wailed and prayed and sang at the final whistle sounds, the Welsh - to a man - stood motionless as the terrible truth sank in. The side that claimed the Grand Slam in 2005 has taken the earliest exit possible from the World Cup.

    Wales captain Gareth Thomas finally managed to muster a few words in the wake of defeat, likening the whole Welsh campaign as being "quite a roller-coaster ride". He's not wrong.

    Indeed, this game was a helter-skelter in itself. The South Sea islanders found themselves 25-3 in front before the break. Fine work from Wales saw them steal back a 34-31 lead late in the game, and it looked as if Fijian fires had been doused.

    But they summoned up the strength from the depth of their souls and launched one final do-or-die raid that bore a try - confirmed by video replay? - for prop Graham Dewes.

    But the game showed no signs of greatness in its early youth. Indeed, it looked like it would be another case of ruthless efficiency and professionalism subduing heart and passion.

    But this time there was just too much heart - and too much passion! (Amen)

    The 'minnows' - can we now please dispense with that term? - have final sunk their teeth into something substantial.

    It was Stephen Jones who opened the scoring with a penalty for Wales in the early exchanges.

    The reds then pushed on, carrying out their gameplan methodically and carefully - territory, set-piece, territory set-piece - like well-drilled boy scouts.

    Another penalty situation was soon directed at the post, but Jones's kick rebound off the post.

    The miss seemed to trigger something in Fijian heads. It was like an alarm clock going off, a sudden realisation that there was a match to play, and the bounced out of bed eager to devour the Welsh for breakfast.

    Suddenly the big hits started to rain in, each heavier and more ruthless than the last.

    The slight frame of James Hooks was never going hold up to the barrage and he duly turned over under pressure from the outstanding Seru Rabeni. Isoa Neivua took the ball up to the Welsh lines were it was recycled for the on-rushing Akapusi Qera who clashed through two weak challenges before sliding in for the first try of the game.

    The try added a couple of inches to each of the islanders, and Wales were soon stung again by an attack born in the depth's of their own half.

    Rabeni was again at the heart of it as he broke down the right before offloading to Vilimoni Delasau. The Clermont wing, short on space down the right, chipped in-field and then beat both Mark Jones and Gareth Thomas with a leap fit for a salmon to regather in the in-goal area and touch down for Fiji's second try.

    What had happened to the script? Fiji were insatiable and unstoppable and Wales's fragile confidence was shattered.

    Little landed a second long-range penalty as Wales were once again penalised for not rolling away.

    Qera, already a sporting icon back home, enhanced his growing reputation further by breaking through midfield to once again leave Wales on the rack.

    The Gloucester man twice linked with Seremai Bai and Wales could not halt the Fijian charge as lock Kele Leawere crashed over for their third try and Little's conversion opened up a 25-3 lead for Fiji.

    Wales trailed by the same scoreline at half-time against Australia a fortnight ago - and they could not come back. What was going through their heads?

    Credit to them, then, that they steadied the ship by sucking the ball in tight. Wales's scrum was vastly superior to Fiji's rough construction, and a push-over try to Alix Popham soon had the Welsh fans peeking out from behind their seats.

    Fiji then lost Qera to the sin-bin at the stoke of half-time. The flank was adjudged to have raised his knee as Stephen Jones closed in on a ruck, but it could be that he paid the price for several earlier incidences of somewhat rambunctious defence from the islanders.

    But Hook failed to find the sticks with the ensuing penalty and the Welsh slunk into the bowels of Stade de la Beaujoire to chew on their predicament - 25-10 down to one of the so-called 'minnows' and staring an return home in the face.

    Quite what happened under the stands is still unclear, but an untrained eye would have assumed that the teams simply exchanged kit during the break.

    Wales, for reasons that may escape even them, eschewed their clear set-piece advantage and decided to take Fiji on at their own game - perhaps it was the numerical advantage afforded by Qera's indiscretion.

    The ploy clearly foxed the islanders. How could their own skills be used against them - and to such great effect?

    Beautiful hands and vision lead to tries for Shane Williams, Gareth Thomas and Mark Jones.

    And so for twenty glorious minutes Wales fans were allowed to dream, to mention the 1970s and their gods of the beautiful game.

    And then they sat back. Why? Who knows? The Fijians were on the ropes with their tongues hanging out, but Wales refused to administer the killer blow.

    Even the arrival of fresh battalion of professional brutes from off the bench failed to stamp their authority on the shattered islanders.

    In fact, Wales conspired to actually cough up the lead by conceding three kicking - and duly kicked - penalty.

    Like so often before - and perhaps now never again - it was left to Martyn Williams to save Welsh bacon. The irrepressible flank picked off Little's pass to score an intercept-try and steal back the lead.

    But the final act of an engrossing drama was still to come as Dewes burrowed over in the corner.

    And with that Fiji picked up their first win in nine games against Wales and advance to their first quarter-final since 1987. Wales head home to face the music.

    planet-rugby

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    Last edited by AndyS; 30-09-07 at 02:01.

  7. #7
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    YAY FOR FIJI...good on them (i seem to be saying this a lot lately)!! :

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    I can't help but feel pity for Wales even if their accents annoy me a little. They are a pretty proud rugby nation and I'm pretty sure its their number one sport and to go out like that.... ouch. They'll have their heads hung in shame for the next 4 years until they get another chance to redeem themselves. It just makes you think with the damage this result and other home union results will do the rift between the Southern and Northern hemispheres will just get bigger and thats no fun.

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  9. #9
    Sensational game, i nodded off a few times but saw the end. Well done to Fiji, so happy for them.

    Based on how the Saffas have handled (or not handled) the Islander nations so far, they should be a little worried.

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    OH man this was the best game! I lost my voice because i was screaming at the tv! hehe...so much screaming at random objects in one day - my computer, the tv, the bar stool (don't ask)

    So proud of the fijian's but feeling a little sorry for wales. Such an intense last 10mins. I was so cut when wales caught that intercept and scored...but then to come back...awesome stuff

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    This guy was a champ! He wasn't looking so great though when they carried him off with a drip.. I hope he's ok!
    ____________________________
    Little doubt for Springboks clash

    From correspondents in Nantes, France<cite>
    September 30, 2007</cite><!-- // author -->
    NICKY Little, a key figure in Fiji's stunning 38-34 Rugby World Cup Pool B win over Wales, is in doubt for the quarter-final against South Africa in Marseille next weekend with a knee injury.

    The fly half, who kicked 18 points at the Stade de la Beaujoire as Fiji reached the last eight for the first time in 20 years, was carried off on a stretcher towards the end of a thrilling match.

    "He's been taken to hospital and we will assess the medical report later," Fiji coach Ilie Tabua said.

    Fiji's dramatic win saw it secure second place behind Australia in Pool B.

    Agence France-Presse

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    "Remember lads, rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Giteau."

  12. #12
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    Few thoughts on the match

    - What about the Welsh off side play Ref?

    - How to hit the big red self destruct button, dominating up front well spread it wide and try to play southern style rugby

    - Fiji send off, was coming, but what about the Welsh number 10 hurtling into the side of the ruck! Both players should have been sent.

    - And finally best bloody World Cup game ever!!!! Bula to Fiji, and give it to those Saffas for us

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  13. #13
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    Jenkins not ready to quit despite exit AKA, let's see who else we can blame first, i like my job thanks!

    PA Sport
    Sunday, September 30, 2007 - 08:19 AM (AEST)


    Gareth Jenkins insists he will not resign as Wales head coach despite watching his side crash out of the World Cup with a 34-38 loss to Fiji.

    Wales will head home having failed to reach the quarter-finals of a World Cup for the first time in the professional era.

    Jenkins had asked to be judged on the World Cup but tonight urged against any 'knee-jerk' reactions and remains determined to fight on in the job.

    "When you are in this position as national coach you have to accept you are accountable. We came here to get to the quarter-finals and we haven't done that - but what we mustn't do is panic," said Jenkins, who is under contract until the end of the 2008 Six Nations.

    "There is no need for a huge knee-jerk reaction, that is my personal view. We need to understand the lessons. Our board will meet to understand the reasons behind why we haven't succeeded."

    "Personally my ambition is to continue coaching Wales, it's as simple as that."

    "I did say about being judged on the World Cup but there are, without a doubt, positives as well as negatives. Going forward we will present our view and the people that make the decision will make their call."

    "I have a lot of work to do in terms of analysing and reflecting and presenting a report. A decision will be made one way or another about the contract."

    Fiji stormed into a 25-3 lead with three tries in the space of 12 first-half minutes from Gloucester's Akapusi Qera, winger Vilimoni Delasau and lock Kele Leawere.

    After Alix Popham touched down for a pushover try shortly before the interval, Wales produced a spirited comeback to edge ahead with scores from Shane Williams, Gareth Thomas and Mark Jones.

    Wales then appeared to have the match won when Martyn Williams picked off a pass from Nicky Little and raced clear to score.

    But Fiji refused to be beaten and a try from prop Graham Dewes four minutes from time sealed a famous victory for the islanders.

    "Not one of us is not hurting or bleeding emotionally," said Jenkins.

    Wales captain Gareth Thomas won his 100th and possibly final Test cap today and at the end of the match he went down on one knee as if in prayer.

    "I was devastated to be out of the World Cup. We have sweated and bled for each other and I was devastated that has suddenly come to an end," he said.

    "When it comes to an end in a way you don't want it to, it hurts."

    "It can be the most brilliant thing in the world and the most desperate thing in the world to be a Welsh rugby player."

    "It is important the guys realise they can wake up in morning, go home to their loved ones and family and life starts again."

    "We will get flak and we will take it together but the world keeps spinning and life goes on."

    "It is a hard lesson to learn."

    "I will never retire, though Welsh rugby has to move on and look towards the next World Cup."

    "If I never play for Wales again I won't look back on today and it think it was all terrible. I will look back on my whole career and cherish the highs and lows."

    Fiji captain scrum-half Mosese Rauluni hailed his side's fighting spirit, which is by their own admission is not normally their best quality.

    "Years ago Fiji would have lost that game. I'm so proud of the boys. They stuck to it, and it comes down to all the hard work and the training we did leading into this World Cup," said Rauluni.

    "We made it to the quarter-finals, and it was our goal to do that."

    "All our wins have been so close, Japan, Canada, those games have helped us to win this game today. The fight at the end there, those games helped us a lot and the boys, our defence really stood up to the task."

    It was the early hours back in Fiji when Dewes crossed for the winning try and Rauluni added: "I know they're going to start celebrating now with a lot of kava and maybe a lot of beer. Good on them, they deserve it."

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  14. #14
    Player Jethro's Avatar
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    Think Jenkins may not have a choice in the matter Going to be ugly when the team arrives home and their only involvement in the quarters will be watching the AB's in Cardiff.

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    What a game (as everyone else has intuited). I think that would have to be one of the best world cup games I've watched. Lotsa free running rugby..from the Fijians ofcourse..nothing like it, pure entertainment. Shame about Little but I think so long as they have their centre combination and wingers in good nick they should be good.

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