Wales survive Fijian storm to reach Cup quarter-finals

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 10 Oct 2019

Wales weathered a furious Fijian onslaught to reach the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals last night, sending Australia through in the process, as Scotland thrashed Russia to set up a showdown with hosts Japan.

With approaching Typhoon Hagibis threatening to cause havoc with this weekend's final pool games, the Welsh found themselves in a storm of their own before emerging from a physical battering with a 29-17, bonus-point win.

The result guarantees Wales and Australia's progress from Pool D, which the Welsh top by three points ahead of their remaining game against Uruguay.

"Look, that was tough. They've got some unbelievable individuals and we just had to stay in it," said Wales coach Warren Gatland.

"I think the medics are going to be working pretty hard in the next 24-48 hours. But pleasing to get that bonus-point win," he added.

With the pool stage culminating this weekend, officials warned that Hagibis, currently classed as "violent" - the top end of Japan's storm scale - is on track to hit parts of Japan's coast, possibly barrelling straight into Tokyo on Saturday.

The city of Oita was treated to an end-to-end clash marked by heavy challenges and a sickening, accidental blow to the head which ended Wales fly-half Dan Biggar's involvement.

Josua Tuisova smashed through three defenders to score Fiji's first try before Kini Murimurivalu made it 10-0 after just eight minutes. But Josh Adams leaped high to gather Biggar's cross-field kick and get Wales on the board, and he dotted down again to make it 14-10 at the break as Tevita Cavubati and then Ken Owens spent time in the sin-bin - the first two of four yellow cards in all.

In a breathless second period, Fiji were awarded a penalty try and Biggar - who failed a head injury assessment just 10 days ago - was apparently knocked groggy after an aerial collision with Liam Williams.

Replacement fly-half Rhys Patchell kicked a penalty to square it at 17-17 before Adams completed his hat-trick with an acrobatic touchdown. A Gareth Davies break released Williams to seal the win.

In Shizuoka, Adam Hastings starred with 26 points including two tries as the Scots thrashed Russia 61-0 to set up their showdown with Japan.

Greig Laidlaw, Finn Russell, Stuart Hogg, Blade Thompson and Johnny Gray were rested, as Scotland face the Brave Blossoms in Yokohama on Sunday.

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