RUGBY WORLD CUP 2015
Wednesday, 7 October 6:00am
Fiji pushed England and Australia all the way and tested Wales to the limit of their endurance last Thursday in Cardiff so it seems unfair they remain pointless alongside Uruguay in pool A. The Fijians would never have expected to qualify in this year’s Group of Death but equally they would have hoped for one positive result in their testing three rather than enter this match in a bid to avoid the wooden spoon.
Last time out Uruguay suffered the heaviest defeat of the tournament so far at the hands of a much superior Australian outfit, but with nine days rest they will have targeted this game as their only realistic opportunity of picking up a win. Despite a five day turnaround, Fiji remain strong favourites in the first meeting between these two since their only other encounter 16 years ago.
Since New Zealand 2011, Fiji have won eight from nine against minnows and excluding their century of points over the Cook Islands no victory has been by more than 25 points. At World Cups they’ve won their last five against the lesser teams, but neither their attack nor defence has flourished as they’ve failed to cross the 50 point mark and have shipped an average of 21 points per game.
The three Pacific Island sides have won 13/16 World Cup matches against minnows since 2003 but only one of the wins covered the starting spread here. The heaviest defeat actually came against Uruguay when they were thrashed 60-13 by Samoa back in 2003. So far only one match at this World Cup has surpassed that winning margin 12 years ago – Uruguay’s clash versus Australia that we alluded to earlier.
Fiji have impressed this World Cup but exuded a lot of energy in their effort against Wales just five days ago. Given the way the lesser teams have performed so far, highlighted by Uruguay covering their handicaps against both Wales and Australia (just), we are happy to back them again.
- Fiji have won eight from nine against minnows and excluding their century of points over the Cook Islands no victory has been by more than 25 points.
- Uruguay covered the handicap against both Wales and Australia
- The three Pacific Island sides have won 13/16 World Cup matches against minnows since 2003 but just one win was by more than 37 points