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Rugby World Cup 2023: the foreign press hails a Fiji team capable of “beating anyone”

“The Flying Fijians end sixty-nine years of drought against Australia and keep their Rugby World Cup hopes alive”enjoys online media Fiji Live. Sunday September 17, in Saint-Etienne, “in a double or nothing match”the Fijians defeated the Wallabies (22-15) to claim their first victory against their Pacific neighbors since 1954.

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At the same time, continues the journalist from Fiji Live Noa Biudole, they are relaunching in their race to qualify for the quarter-finals of the French World Cup, despite their inaugural defeat against Wales on September 10 (32-26).

In Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald address his “deepest congratulations” to “powerful Fijians”which inflict on Australians “a historic humiliation”. “This is an excellent result for world rugby”savors the columnist of the center-left daily, Peter FitzSimons. “The Fijian victory against England a month ago was no accident”, insists the journalist, who believes that “World Cups are no longer about the Six Nations teams, more about South Africa, New Zealand and Australia” : “At the top of their game, you feel like Fiji can beat anyone. »

According to Peter FitzSimons, the two opposing teams on Sunday on the pitch at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium simply did not play the same sport: “While the Wallabies were simply playing very mundane rugby, the Fijians were offering something else entirely. They often switched to rugby sevens, constantly supporting each other and covering the pitch extraordinarily (…). Sometimes they played basketball, passing the ball to each other with blinding dexterity. (…) As for the kicking duels, they seemed to send the ball three or four meters further [que leurs adversaires]. »

“The Wallabies’ dismal performance”

The Wallabies have been neutralized, continues the daily The Fiji Times. Every time the Australians approached the Fijian 22 meter zone, center Josua Tuisova, voted man of the match, “managed to seize the ball and save his team”.

And even if “the pressure was at its peak as the last ten minutes approached”retraces Fiji Livethe players of coach Simon Raiwalui – born in New Zealand and well known in French rugby after his experiences as a player and coach at Racing 92, Stade Français and Biarritz – managed to contain the final Australian assaults.

“The Wallabies’ indiscipline proved costly, also points to the specialized site The Roar. A week after collecting seven penalties in their opening win against Georgia [35-15, au Stade de France], the Wallabies conceded 18 penalties. No international team wins with such a record. »

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” At the end of the day “summary The Sydney Morning Heraldthe success of the Fijians was built “on two things: the tremendous courage with which they played and – let’s not beat around the bush – the dismal performance of the Wallabies”.


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A state of affairs recognized in a post-match press conference by Australia coach Eddie Jones, who accepted the criticism from the supporters present in Saint-Etienne. “They should throw baguettes and croissants at me. This is all I deserve”he commented, according to comments relayed by the New Zealand media Stuff.

The Wallabies are now relying on their “artificial respirator”is alarmed The Roar : they will play a decisive match against Wales, Sunday September 24.

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