Problems remain for Ireland, as Fiji thrash Georgia

Problems remain for Ireland, as Fiji thrash Georgia

Agency News

Osaka, Sep 4 : Both Ireland and Fiji got back to winning ways after disappointing defeats in the Rugby World Cup here.

Fiji, still reeling from an abject performance against minnows Uruguay ran in seven tries to take out their frustration on Georgia 45-10 on Thursday. Meanwhile, in the evening's kick-off, Ireland put behind their embarrassing loss to hosts Japan to nil Russia 35-0.

Ireland, who started the tournament as the number one ranked side in the world, struggled for consistency and cutting edge against a spirited Russian performance.
Pre-match predictions would not have put Ireland only scoring five tries against the lowest-ranked side at the tournament and following the game, Irish head coach Joe Schmidt had to defend his team's performance against the third tier nation.
"If you look at the stats, I am really happy with it [the performance] and the team," said Schmidt, however, admitting that the fans "might have expected more of a performance," instead focusing on the positives following the game.

In spite of a scrappy performance, Ireland was rarely challenged in defense by Russia, which remained as solid as ever. It was on attack that Ireland began to look one-dimensional. It took Ireland 22 minutes to score the first try and could only manage a further two before the half time break.

The second half remained scrappy for the Irish. Only scoring two more against an increasingly tired Russia. This game was meant to be an opportunity for Ireland to show off the firepower that was missing against Japan, however, now Ireland leaves Kobe with more questions than answers and with the possibility of a New Zealand quarter final to come.

While tries were not as free-flowing in the Ireland-Russia game as fans were expecting, the Fiji-Georgia game had plenty to spare.

Fiji finally showed off their flair and ball skills against a lackluster second-half Georgian performance. Following Fiji's disappointing defeat against Uruguay, Georgia would have seen an opportunity at this game to grab a win and allow themselves the chance to qualify from the pools against Australia in their final game.

At half time, with the score standing at 7-3 to Fiji, Georgia would have seen the opportunity for winning the tie as very close. Unfortunately, the Fijian backline finally showed the world what it was capable of. Six second-half tries followed for Fiji as the Pacific Islanders clicked. The pace, power, and skill of the Fijians were too much for the Georgians to handle as they fell to their first-ever loss to a tier-two nation at a World Cup. Fiji moves second in Pool D and will look to provide a repeat performance against Wales to give them a chance of reaching the quarterfinals for the first time.(XINHUA)