A quieter week this one with only 3 games but still some wonderful action. Here’s my review of week 3 so far.
Rugby World Cup
Tonga 35 – 21 Namibia
Wales 23 – 13 Fiji
France 41 – 18 Canada
3 from 3, the final results were all predictable but there were no blowouts.
The end score for the Tonga Namibia suggest that it was closer that it really was. Tonga were on top for the vast majority of the match but a characteristic of this Rugby World Cup has been the defence by underdogs. Tonga had two tries in the first 10 minutes and even though Namibia pulled one back Tonga still went into the break 22-7 up. Tonga scored fist in the second half but Namibia didn’t let their heads drop and kept on battling picking up two tries. Namibia had to make nearly twice as many tackles as Tonga and were living off scraps of possession but put a really good fight.
Wales came stemming out of the blocks aided by an early North break. That didn’t get an immediate result but the pressure stayed on and Wales picked their first try after only 6 minutes. Troubles at the scrum allowed Fiji to kick a penalty but they couldn’t hold out Wales who scored their second try and led comfortably at half time 17-6. An early Fiji try in the second half threatened a come back but Welsh discipline and Bigger’s boot kept Fiji at bay. Fiji threw too many offloads that weren’t going to hand giving up 20 turnovers and 8 scrums where as Wales only gave up 1 scrum all game.
Michalak had a wonderful game cutting the Canadians to pieces so that France rushed out to a 17 points lead by half an hour. Canada to their credit came back with two tries of their own to get into contention. But France scared a third try to go in 24-12 up at halftime. Canada weren’t going to letdown though and a couple of penalties to close the gap again. It started to look like a surprise might be on the cards but with Michalak pulling the strings France upped the pace and pulled away with a further two tries sealing the TBP. This has been one of the more predictable pools and it looks like it’s all going to come down to the game between France and Ireland to decide which order they go forward in.