Monday’s Rugby News mourns the Wallabies loss and recaps the rest of the World Cup, the NRC and the women’s sevens.
The Wallabies have gone down in a nail biter against Wales 29-25 in Tokyo.
After trailing by as many as 18 points early in the second half, the Wallabies scored 17 unanswered points to pump hope back into the tires of Australian fans.
Unfortunately, those tires hit a rock and deflated, with the Aussies failing to finish off the comeback, falling to just their third World Cup loss in the pool stages.
For a more in-depth look at the game, check out Nick’s player ratings.
Despite the slow start, the main talking point out of the game was the controversial refereeing by Romain Poite and the rest of his crew.
The decision to penalise Samu Kerevi for the poor tackling technique of Rhys Patchell and the inability to find the rewind button when Gareth Davies snatched an intercept try from what appeared to be an off-side position cost the Wallabies 10 points in the match, which turned out to be crucial.
This enraged Michael Cheika after the match, who drew comparisons to the tackle that got Reece Hodge three weeks.
“It was pretty funny because I thought I saw that tackle before, it could have been Reece Hodge, I’m not sure,” Cheika joked.
“When out guy makes that tackle and has the high tackle framework in his head he gets suspended,
“But this guy doesn’t think about the framework and we get penalised.
“As a former rugby player, I’m embarrassed by that,
“I don’t know the rules anymore, I don’t know anymore”
Cheika also blasted Poite for his adjudication at scrum-time, accusing him of not allowing the Wallabies to pack probably.
“Any positives we take we’ll keep to ourselves I think because we were looking good in the scrum tonight, got penalised,” Cheika said.
“I’m not sure, maybe Australia is not allowed to scrum any good.
“I’ll just keep it to myself.
“I know you’re expecting me to go so I’ll keep my powder dry and see where we end up.”
World Cup Wrap
After a break on Friday, the rugby began Saturday afternoon with a crushing 28-12 win to Argentina over Tonga.
The Pumas were boosted by a rapid first-half hat-trick to hooker Julian Montoya, equalling Argentina’s record for the most tries in a single World Cup match set by Martin Gaitan in 2003.
The bonus-point win revives their bid for a Rugby World Cup quarter-final place before their must-win game over England on October 7.
This was followed by the “Shizuoka Shock”, where host nation Japan pulled off a 19-12 upset win over former number one ranked Ireland.
Replacement winger Kenki Fukuoka struck the killer blow to replicate their miracle in Brighton in 2015, putting them in prime position for top spot in the group.
Japan coach Jamie Joseph was thrilled by the result saying “We were preparing for three years and Ireland probably since Monday, so we felt like had an advantage. The boys will have a couple of beers tonight.”
The final game of Saturday saw South Africa blow out Namibia with a dominant 57-3 win.
The two-time champions recorded one of their biggest Rugby World Cup wins with five tries in the first half and another four in the second to sweep Namibia aside.
Coach Rassie Erasmus was pleased with the win, hoping the crushing victory can help springboard their side heading forward.
“We will build from this and now we’ve got this big Italy game which probably will determine if we go through to the quarter-finals or not…I think this game will give us a nice springboard to go into that game.”
The final non-Wallaby match from the weekend was run and won by Georgia, who were too strong for the giant-killers Uruguay 33-7.
A dominant forward display laid the foundation for an impressive victory by Georgia, who recorded the bonus-point victory.
They took a slim 12-7 lead heading into the half-time break, before tries to Levan Chilachava, Otari Giorgadze and Giorgi Kveseladze secured the result.
With just three weeks remaining in the NRC, the top four has been thrown into chaos by some extraordinary results.
We start in the nation’s capital, where the Canberra Vikings overcame a spirited Fijian Drua to win 41-28.
With both teams sharing fourth position heading into the match, this match was crucial for their finals aspirations and it was the Vikings’ Brumby contingency that stepped up when it mattered.
Doubles to Toni Pulu and Tom Banks reminded the competition of their threat heading into the finals, helping the Vikings gain the bonus-point victory.
This was followed by the Queensland derby, where it was the folks from the Country that grabbed bragging rights with a 42-26 win over Brisbane City.
After a poor fortnight, where they lost to Sydney and Melbourne, Country played an intense, physical style of football that stunned their City rivals from the start.
Doubles to halfback Tate McDermott and no.8 Harry Wilson helped secure the Andy Purcell Cup for another year, keeping the Country’s finals hopes alive.
The bonus-point victory in front of a strong crowd at Marley Brown Oval in Gladstone pushes Queensland Country to fifth place on the ladder.
Sunday rugby started in Sydney, where the Melbourne Rising continued their revival with a 40-26 win over Sydney.
The Rising signalled their intent to play through the forwards in the opening minutes, with Anaru Rangi scoring a quick-fire double inside 15 minutes.
From their, Melbourne would dominate the proceeding, running in six tries to keep their faint hopes of the post-season alive.
Rangi and Justin Marsters were the key men for the Melbourne side, each recording doubles in the crushing win.
We finish the round in NSW with a huge upset, as NSW Country Eagles defeated the previously unbeaten Western Force 38-24.
The Eagles bounced back after a disappointing loss to the Rising, sprinting to a 14-0 lead within ten minutes.
They would control the contest from here, dominating the contest to launch themselves up into second place on the ladder.
Griffith reign supreme
Griffith University has won the second round of the 2019 Aon University Sevens Series, defeating the University of Queensland 21-7 in the final at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
Queensland Uni came into the contest favourites, having won the opening round on home turf and they continued their dominance on day one, having topped their group and cruised their way through their semi-final over Canberra Uni.
However, Griffith made a strong run throughout the tournament, upsetting Pool B champions Sydney Uni on their way to the final.
In the battle of the two series winners, the 2018 winners (Griffith) scored three tries to the 2017 winners (Queensland Uni) one in one of the competitions most competitive finals.
The Canberra Uni took out the bronze medal final in the second leg of the series after defeating Sydney Uni 12-10.
The result seeing the side place for the first time in the competitions three-year history.
Hosts, Bond University, also sought redemption following their round one result finishing in sixth after going down to the University of Adelaide 26-14.
In other matches, the University of Melbourne won their final game of the day against the University of New England while UTS defeated the University of Western Australia in the seventh-place playoff.
Griffith University Head Coach, Moana Virtue said: “That win meant more to the side than all the wins we had in the 2018 competition.
“This round of the series has been the most competitive we’ve ever seen.
“We had a lot of new girls in the side, and I’m proud of the way in which they dug deep and the effort that they put in; we won this tournament as a team.
“It’s important that we take this time to enjoy the win before we reassess at training on Tuesday and look towards round three.”
The contest will head to Adelaide for the third round of the four-round series in a fortnight.