The first World Cup semi final had Australia coming up against a Fiji Bati side that stunned the tournament with an upset win over New Zealand. Australia’s clinical work – scoring 10 tries – was all too much for Fiji at Brisbane Stadium, winning 54-6.
AUSTRALIANS DOMINATE SEMI FINAL
It was all discipline from the green and gold, able to withstand all that their opponents threw at them, while being efficient in defence and exploiting overlaps with smart pass selection and kicking.
HOLMES SCORES SIX
Valentine Holmes created World Cup history last week against Samoa, scoring five tries in a match. The flying left winger beat his own record, completing a six-try haul against Fiji; Holmes now has 12 tries, leading the scorers for the tournament. The tries did not all come easy, with two of them created from long-range efforts, Holmes evading tired defence and running 80 metres; an argument now builds that his best position is wing.
FIJI THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY
It was a night to forget after such a titanic win against the Kiwis in the quarter final; Fiji were unable to reproduce a strong defensive effort and have self-control around the ball. Fiji’s frustrations mounted with 14 errors, letting Australia capitalise off those mistakes and score the majority of their points in reply. A gallant effort by the Fijians, but they needed to better control the onslaught off the back of the penalties around the ruck and poor decision making.
COMPLETIONS AND POSSESSION
The completion rate of the sides and possession throughout the match was a indication of how Australia put on such a strong performance. The Kangaroos finished with an incredible 85 per cent completion rate to Fiji’s 58 per cent, while completing 35 sets of six to 15, a huge factor as to why Fiji were unable to convert their chances into crucial points. The possession – as early as the 20th minute – was 60 per cent in Australia’s favour and made it impossible for Fiji to come back in the second half.
AUSTRALIA’S NEXT TEST
Australia progress to another World Cup final with the chance to redeem the infamous 2008 defeat to the Kiwis at the same venue. They will face either England or Tonga, which will be their biggest test. Both potential opponents hold many highly-professional players that will be more of a challenge than the sides they have come up against in the tournament.
Tries: Holmes (6), Slater (2), Gagai (2) Goals: Smith 7/10
Tries: Vunivalu Goals: Koroisau 1/2