458. From The Couch: Match #30

Fiji 47 – 15 Uruguay

There’s been a lot of commentary about how “unfair” Pool A has been in making one of Australia, England or Wales dip out in the pool stages.

But spare a thought for Fiji, the fourth ranked team, who had to play for their lives against those three majors. They have been the best of the Pacific Islanders in this competition, but they will not get automatic qualification for Japan 2015.

This match was their opportunity to show their wares, and they shot out to a commanding lead by half time with four tries. Their scrum was dominant, although their midfield running was largely too direct and not dynamic enough. Playing into the tackles rather than through them.

Uruguay played their part, sticking to their tackles and twice grabbing the slimmest of opportunities to score their first tries in a Cup since 2002. Their discipline splintered late in the second half, earning their scrum half the first red card of the tournament for a second sinbinning. But they can be well satisfied that they have made progress.

Fiji played the first game of the tournament against England, and now they’ve played their fourth and last with five days left in the pool stage. They looked tired at times from such short turnarounds.

England, Australia and Wales have been well-treated by comparison.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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