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Sat 21 Sep 2019 | 06:00

RECAP: Australia v Fiji

RECAP: Australia v Fiji
Sat 21 Sep 2019 | 06:00
RECAP: Australia v Fiji

READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup pool match between Australia and Fiji in Sapporo.

Both countries will look to put their off-field worries aside.

The two-time world champion Wallabies – also the losing finalists in 2015 – won just four of 13 Tests in 2018.

Now a good run in Japan is seen as vital to boosting support for the 15-a-side code in Australia, where Rugby Union endures an endless battle for attention with rugby league and Australian Rules.

It has also been overshadowed this year by superstar Israel Folau’s controversial sacking for his social media comments and his looming legal battle with Rugby Australia, which threatens to cost the governing body millions.

Prediction: The off-field struggles of Australia are well documented, so it going to interesting to see how they will deal with this during the World Cup. The side’s win over New Zealand certainly boosted their confidence however it very shortlived. Fiji could prove to be a real challenge and might cause an upset given their form. However, Wallabies have proven to be a totally different animal during a World Cup which certainly can galvanise a noteworthy performance, thus Wallabies will win this by 10 points.

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Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 James O’Connor, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 David Pocock, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt To’omua, 23 Dane Haylett-Petty.

Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Semi Radradra, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Peceli Yato, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain), 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 3 Peni Ravai, 2 Samuel Matavesi, 1 Campese Ma’afu.
Replacements: 16 Tuvere Vugakoto, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Tevita Ratuva, 20 Mosese Voka, 21 Nikola Matawalu, 22 Alivereti Veitokani, 23 Vereniki Goneva.

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Andrew Brace (Ireland)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

PV: 2517

RECAP: Australia v Fiji - australia | Rugby365