Teams’ ul­ti­mate places de­pend on last matches

Former Black Fern Regina Sheck looks into Pool D.

South Waikato News - - RUGBY WORLD CUP -

Pool D is go­ing to go down to the wire with Samoa and Wales re­ly­ing on their last matches to see who takes the cov­eted sec­ond spot. South Africa is start­ing to play their rugby of old by putting on a very strong per­for­mance against Fiji. Some great tries were scored and the hus­tle and bus­tle of their for­ward pack showed gap­ing holes in the Fijian de­fence. Bryan Ha­bana be­came South Africa’s high­est try scorer and will add more to that tally be­fore the tour­na­ment runs its course. Fiji would have been very dis­ap­pointed with their dis­play, fall­ing off tack­les and not play­ing struc­tured rugby. The Samoa/Fiji match in Auck­land was played to a full crowd and the fans were roar­ing from the start with each coun­try’s re­spec­tive war dance prior to kick­off.

Samoa showed how much Tusi Pisi was missed from their Wales clash with the back­line able to shine and pen­e­trate the Fijian back­line. Their game plan to use Tuilagi proved to be a good move as he showed how much ter­ri­tory he gains when run­ning with the ball. He also showed more toe than a ro­man san­dal for a big guy when he chased his kick through 50 me­tres to nearly score in the left­hand cor­ner. The score line was big­ger than I ex­pected it to be. The clash be­tween these two coun­tries is usu­ally pretty close but Samoa showed the men­tal tough­ness to get through this game. Hope­fully Pisi is right for the do-or-die match against South Africa on Fri­day.

Wales will be look­ing for the bonus point win over Namibia on Mon­day night which should be a walk in the park, to be even with Samoa on the ta­ble, although Wales will be in front on points. Samoa needs to win against South Africa with a bonus point to put a bit of pres­sure on Wales and will have to wait two days to see if they qual­ify for the next round. Samoa has had some close en­coun­ters with South Africa at pre­vi­ous world cups and their scrum will be able to match their op­po­nents, they will need to use their back three more. Paul Wil­liams has been in­ject­ing the back­line very well and is strong cover in the boot. Their big­gest prob­lem will be their dis­ci­pline, South Africa will no doubt try and nig­gle them. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see if South Africa fields their strong­est lineup prior to the next round. Wales on the other hand will know on Fri­day whether they are through to the next round, this will be Fiji’s last game of the tour­na­ment and they will not take it lightly.

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