close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
September 22, 2019

France, Australia survive Rugby World Cup scares

Sports

AFP
September 22, 2019

TOKYO: France and Australia both survived huge scares on Saturday as the Rugby World Cup roared into life ahead of the heavyweight clash between defending champions New Zealand and South Africa.

A last-ditch penalty miss by Argentina’s Emiliano Boffelli spared France’s blushes as they scraped home 23-21, after Australia recovered from nine points down to beat a formidable Fiji 39-21. The back-to-back thrillers on the first full day of action set up the much-anticipated clash between the All Blacks and the Springboks, considered a potential precursor of the November 2 final. Kieran Read’s All Blacks are chasing an unprecedented third straight world title, but come up against a Springboks team in the ascendancy under coach Rassie Erasmus. After a tense start in Tokyo, France clicked and they showed slick hands and brilliant running as Gael Fickou went over on the right and Antoine Dupont dotted down four minutes later.

The flawless boot of Romain Ntamack pushed Les Bleus out to a 20-3 lead at the break but Argentina came storming back with two near-identical catch-and-drive tries to Guido Petti Pagadizaval and Julian Montoya.

Benjamin Urdapilleta slotted two penalties to give Argentina a 21-20 lead but Camille Lopez’s cool drop goal put France back in front, and it was the unfortunate Boffelli who skewed his penalty narrowly wide.

Earlier in Sapporo, Fiji put in some thunderous hits and led 21-12 early in the second half before replacement scrum-half Will Genia inspired Australia’s recovery and bonus-point win. Tolu Latu crashed over twice, and Samu Serevi and Marika Koroibete also crossed in the second half following scores by Michael Hooper and Reece Hodge in a helter-skelter first period.

“They’re such a dangerous team, we knew that very well,” said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. “It’s what we expected (but) we probably didn’t expect to be so far behind. “We made a few errors that let them into it but we recomposed ourselves, went back to basics and were able to get it done.”

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus