Uruguay upset Fiji
Holy Shit !!!
Talk about taking your opportunities. Los Teros lived off about 30% possession in that first half, but almost everything they touched turned to gold. The box kicks were great, the scrum mostly held up, the lineout fired pretty well, and when they got just a crack in the door they rammed it open with sheer determination and balls the size of church bells.
On the turnaround issue: Fiji played a team ranked above them on Day 2. They respected that team and tore into them like nobody’s business, but ultimately failed in the same places they tend to at 15-man rugby: fitness, and then discipline.
On a short turnaround - having made 12 changes - they played against a team ranked 10 spots below them.
A team who had never beaten them.
A team with a sum total of 2 RWC wins against similarly ranked teams (Spain 1999, Georgia 2003 - I was at that game).
In contrast to the first game, Fiji showed a complete lack of respect for Uruguay until it was way too late.
There’s “playing your natural game” and then there’s “utterly failing to do the basics”. They simply couldn’t handle the fact that Uruguay were chopping them down in low tackles (all bloody game), and didn’t step back to simple phase rugby because they thought eventually the opposition would crack under offload pressure.
Save the fancy bullshit for once you’ve got the lead.
And in typing that last sentence, i realised I thought exactly the same thing about the Wallabies when Fiji were 21-12 up on a runaway try.
I didn’t think Fiji had a 10 who was more ordinary than Volavola, and Josh Matavesi proved me wrong. That team was directionless from the halves out, and now have an uphill battle to qualify. They can still do it thanks to 2 bonus points, but they’ll have to beat Wales and Georgia with 4 tries, and neither of those results is guaranteed, based on what I’ve seen dished up today.
The FoxSports home team were criticising McKee for making so many changes, but he didn’t coach them to be shit.
If Fiji had stolen a win at the end if would have been a travesty.
Georgia must be quietly shitting themselves.