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Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
19/09/2023
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Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup Now in Jeopardy Following Loss to Fiji.

Australia’s place in the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup has been put in jeopardy with the Wallabies’ loss to Fiji.

News Insights

  • Fiji takes down Wallabies for first time since 1954.
  • Australia now on the outside looking in.
  • Wallabies essentially have to win out for a chance to advance.
  • Wallabies looking to avoid falling in the pool stage for the first time in history.

The Wallabies began the Rugby World Cup as expected with a 35-15 victory against Georgia. Then, unexpectedly, they fell to Fiji on Sunday leaving them in third place in pool C and in need of victories over both Wales and Portugal to avoid missing the knockout round for the first time ever. 

Wallabies Fall to Fiji

For the first time since 1954 Australia’s island cousins Fiji have defeated them in a rugby match. On Sunday the Fijians took down the Wallabies 22-15 in what was the second game of the Rugby World Cup for both nations. 

Big favourites at all Australian betting sites coming in, the Wallabies showed a lack of poise and experience en route to the disappointing loss that now leaves them vulnerable to be eliminated in the group stage. 

The Wallabies have been in disarray as of late with five defeats in the buildup to the World Cup but even so, the result was one that not many would have predicted. 

From the jump it was apparent that this match would be no walkover for the Wallabies as Fiji was playing physical and intelligent rugby. Both teams held their lines strongly in the early goings of the game with the game’s first try not coming until the 24th minute. 

Australia opened the scoring three minutes in with Ben Donaldson booting through a penalty to take a 3-0 lead. Nine minutes later Fiji equalized with scrum-half SimioneKuruvoli putting through a penalty of his own. 

Another Wallaby penalty in the 21st minute led to Kuruvoli smashing through another three-pointer to take a 6-3 lead for Fiji. 

The Wallabies scored the first try of the game in the 24th minute as Nic White kicked a perfectly placed ball from his own side of half down to the Fijian 22 and out of play. Aussie youngster Mark Nawaqanitawase showed some quick thinking sprinting up to take the lineout quickly to SamuKoroibete. 

Then, as he was being tackled, Koroibete then flipped the ball back to Nawaqanitawase who took the ball in for the try. 

The Wallabies could not get out of their own way the whole game though as they gave up two penalties in quick succession following the try both of which were converted by Kuruvoli to give Fiji a 12-8 lead. The Wallabies gave up an unacceptable 18 penalties in the match. 

Fiji led 12-8 at the half. The second 40 was more of the same for the Wallabies as their undisciplined play led to an early Fiji try. 

A high box kick by Kuruvoli was unexplainably allowed to bounce between Nawaqanitawase and Carter Gordon and found its way into the hands of JosuaTuisova who ran it in for a try and stretched Fiji’s lead to 19-8. 

After another Wallaby penalty gave the Fijians a 22-8 lead Australia tried to mount a comeback with a 69th minute try from SuliasiVunivalu but it was too little too late as Fiji held off the Aussies and won the match 22-15. 

The Wallabies were able to grab a bonus point which is important in the pool C standings and about the only good Australia can take from the defeat. 


Wallabies Must Take Care of Business Against Wales and Portugal

Currently in third place in pool C, The Wallabies have now put themselves in a position to where they must defeat both Wales and Portugal if they hope to avoid the embarrassment of falling in the pool stage for the first time in history. 

The Wallabies unexpected loss to Fiji leaves them in a vulnerable spot but they can’t let it get to their heads. They must shake off their disappointment and get back to their best against Wales next week as anything other than a victory will see them crash out of the Rugby World Cup.