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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 September 2007, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Wales v Fiji as it happened
Result: Wales 34-38 Fiji



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By Julian Shea

Right, I'm off for a well-deserved cup of tea and a lie down before coming back here to do more of the same for Scotland v Italy game at 2000 BST.

Again, it's a case of winner stays in, loser goes home, but surely it can't be quite as manic as this one - can it???

"We failed. We never played a solid 80 mins in whole competition. Get rid of Jenkins. Bring back Ruddock. A nation is devastated."
Dean, Barry, via text

"At least one good thing will come of this. We don't have to watch that rubbish anymore. Gareth Jenkins has been an absolute joke. The only thing i wonder is if he will have the decency to resign. My thoughts are probably not."
wondertaff, via 606

"That's it. No more gas for anyone else in this country. Prepare to be de-gasidied."
angry has man, via text

"Where were the forwards in the ruck? Jenkins should go. Wales wern't that poor in this game but still made mistakes at key moments. Fiji were excellent."
moggydave1, via 606

"Best game ever (unless you're Welsh!)"
stirling-flanker, via 606

Turnover to Fiji, the ball is booted into touch and that's it - one of the most astonishing games the World Cup has ever seen is finally over. Wales go home, and it's the South Sea Islanders who go into the last eight and a quarter-final against South Africa in Marseille on Sunday 7 October.

80 mins: Turnover to Wales and they take a quick tap penalty - what can possibly be left in this game? Nicky Little is stretchered off with a nasty-looking ankle injury deep into stoppage time, but the game is not over yet - the ball and the iniative are with Wales.

They cannot go to the line-out, and trail by four points, so they can only do one thing if they want to stay in this World Cup.

79 mins: Only Fiji would try and run their way out of trouble in the last 40 seconds of a decisive World Cup game when they're on the back foot but leading by four points...

76 mins TRY WALES 34-38 FIJI:
An almightly pile-up on the Welsh tryline, with Wales claiming the ball was not touched down and Fiji saying it has. How anyone can tell what happened in there, I've no idea but the video referee gives a try to Graham Dewes. Then Nicky Little stretches the lead.

"No more phone calls till game ends from call gas call centre."
anonymous, via text - probably angry gas man, I'd guess

74 mins: Not wishing to tempt fate, but if it's a draw Wales will go through on points difference.

72 mins TRY WALES 34-31 FIJI:
Surely that must be the killer blow.

Just inside the Welsh half, Martin Williams intercepts Nicky Little's pass and sprints unchallenged to the other end of the pitch to put Wales back in the lead. Stephen Jones' conversion hits the post - the third time he has done so in the game. Surely that hat-trick isn't going to end up proving decisive, is it? Anything is possible in this game...

70 mins: Seremaia Bai flies up the right wing, eludes the tackle of Duncan Jones and inches short of the corner flag, is sent flying into touch by Gareth Thomas. Reminds me of a famous photo of JPR Williams doing the same to a French player in the early 70s.

"We are watching this whilst cruising the nile. I am the only Welsh person on the cruise. Please please come on the boys or i'll have stick all night!"
Vicky, via text

68 mins: No change to the scoreline since the last update - just to keep you informed. Phew... deep breath everyone, we're heading into the last 10 minutes, and in a game like this, anything could happen - and probably will.

"Why on earth didn't we play like this in the first half?! It's always the case!"
chrisp2412, via 606

64 mins: More changes for Wales - Duncan Jones, Ian Gough and Michael Owen come on, with Alix Popham, Chris Horsman and Ian Evans going off.

"Please update the Wales game faster, about to fly to Toronto and the text is way behind. Cannot last 8 hours not knowing the result. Cheers." Bleddyn, via text.

Well if they'd stop scoring for a couple of minutes I could, I'm trying to stay on top of it as fast as I can!

"On second thoughts, back to my lovely gas customers"
Angry gas man, via text

I'd guess you've had another change of heart since posting that, haven't you?

59 mins PENALTY WALES 29-31 FIJI:
Vilimoni Delasau falls just short of the Welsh line and Mark Jones prevents them getting the ball away from the ruck in a try scoring position. Nicky Little punishes them with the penalty.

56 mins: Change for Wales - Mike Phillips on, Dwayne Peel off.

"There was a time when I wouldn't forgive Wales for the excessive boasting and denegration of the opposition in the 70's but they have been so pitiful for a decade now that all I can do is cry with their supporters. It's so sad my wife has switched to another channel. Hope I miss the recovery of the century."
woofio, via 606

I take it that was posted on 606 about four minutes ago Woofio, and I've only just got round to seeing it - you might want to ask Mrs Woofio for the remote control back....

Don't get too confident chaps and chapesses... Nicky Little kicks another straight-forward penalty to reduce the Welsh advantage to just one point. I'm struggling to keep up here.

52 mins: Fiji replacement - Sireli Bobo on for Isoa Neivua.

51 mins TRY WALES 29-25 FIJI:
Have I suffered a bang on the head here and slipped into a parallel universe? Another Welsh try!!

From a line-out on the left, Wales produce a slick cross-field handling move which ends with James Hook's pass missing out two team-mates to find Mark Jones on the right-hand touchline, and he goes over behind the posts. Stephen Jones puts Wales in front with the conversion.

I hope someone tape that half-time Welsh team-talk, because evidently it has magic powers, This is turning into one of the most remarkable rugby matches I have ever seen.

48 mins TRY WALES 22-25 FIJI:
It had to be Alfie! Mark Jones and James Hook combine to allow centurion Gareth Thomas to go over for his 40th try for Wales. Cue the Ayatollah celebrations.

Unfortunately for Wales, Stephen Jones' conversion hits the post - his second rattling of the woodwork in the match so far - but that is a minor quibble as they have made the most of their temporary one-man advantage.

46 mins: First change for Wales, Rhys Thomas comes on for hooker Matthew Rees.

44 mins TRY WALES 17-25 FIJI:
Game on Wales!! Tom Shanklin and Dwayne Peel start a move over on the right wing, deep in their own half, and Shane Williams produces an electric burst of pace, swerving out of the way of several attempted tackles before splashing down in a huge swan dive next to the posts to score a remarkable try.

Stephen Jones reduces the margin to eight points.

42 mins: Inches away from disaster, Nicky Little's speculative kick into the left hand corner landed just beyond his grasp, as Shane Williams slid in to get it out of danger. If Fiji had managed to get on the end of that, that could be all over.

41 mins: Here we go again for the second half - Wales have had time to have a sit down and a think, and crucially they will spend the first 10 minutes of the second half playing against 14 men. That could be their lifeline in this match.

"Am at a stupid wedding with no tv and only BBC sport on mobile. What is going on?!?"
Anonymous, via text

Where to start.....

"How great is it to watch Fiji playing with no fear and just playing proper rugby fantastic stuff!"
Calum in York, via text

"Credit to Fiji - the QF's obviously mean something to them. If Gareth Jenkins cannot put something into this debacle of a Welsh team during half-time then he should be sacked immediately on the final whistle!! GET RUDDOCK BACK !! Sorry Worcester fans, our need is greater than yours!!" GosportWelshman, via 606

Coach Gareth Jenkins is seen scurrying off to the dressing room to prepare his half-time words of wisdom. You get the feeling they will need an Isaac Newtonesque moment of genius to turn this one round - but how significant will that Fijian yellow card be for the opening exchanges of the second half.

39 mins: No such lucky escape for Fiji this time - Stephen Jones charges into a maul and gets sent flying backwards by the raised knee of Akapusi Qera who is given the yellow card.

Astonishingly, James Hook produces a howler of a penalty, dragging it wide of the left-hand post from pretty much dead in front of the sticks.

38 mins: Ouch, that one hurst just watching it - Alix Popham is left in a heap on the ground after a suspiciously late-looking challenge by Kele Leawere. No yellow card there, and frankly the Fijian can consider himself lucky.

33 mins TRY WALES 10-25 FIJI:
At last, something for the dazed Welsh fans to cheer.

Fiji's scrum put on the reverse lights and beeper as they are pushed back effortless towards the own line, and Alix Popham displays neat footwork to control the ball and touch down. Stephen Jones does his job to reduce the deficit by two more points.

Will there be any more scoring before half-time? You get the feeling that if there is, it could dictate which side will go on to win this remarkable match.

32 mins: Fiji unsurprisingly pause for breath after that remarkable period of play, allowing Wales to at least get the ball down the other end of the field for a couple of minutes, desperately hoping to try and reduce the deficit before the break.

"What is going on here? Wales getting totally outplayed by a team we should really be beating quite comprehensively"
richie4eva1, via 606

In the words of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", "the horror, the horror...."

The red shirts of Wales look more like the Red Sea as Akapusi Qera's barnstorming run straight down the middle from deep in his own half puts Wales on the back foot yet again.

Wales are like a hideously punchdrunk boxer as Kele Leawere puts them out their misery - temporarily - by notching Fiji's third try. Nicky Little does what he does best to increase Fij's advantage to 22 points.

Those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now...Nicky Little adds another penalty. Wales' early enthusiasm and optimism is a distant memory.

"Stuck in work as well, COME ON WALES!!! Not much getting done at British Airways Cardiff. Let us all go home..." Anonymous, via text

Anyone in need of a flight had better be prepared to wait. The worrying thing for Wales fans is that it's their team who will be needing flights if the scoreline doesn't improve...

Nicky Little makes up for his missed conversion with a penalty.

Only one word for this score - dazzling. Seru Rabeni breaks out of his own half, and offloads to Vilimoni Delasau on the right wing, and he produces a stunning burst of pace to follow up his own kick ahead, catch the ball one-handed in mid-air and touch down.

Little misses the afters, but that double blow of two tries in quick succession must have Wales wondering what day it is.

"Stuck in work taking calls from angry gas customers. Do they not realise Wales are playing and I am trying to keep in touch with it?"
Angry gas man, via text

James Hook is stopped in his tracks by a thunderous hit by Seru Rabeni, leading to a sustained period of pressure for Fiji. Akapusi Qera is on hand at the end of the move to go over behind the sticks, with Nicky Little adding the conversion.

11 mins: Fiji threaten the Welsh line for the first time, with Nicky Little's good kick to touch giving them the throw in on a line-out about 18 yards out. A good take by Fiji, but poor handling lets them down and possession is turned over.

10 mins: Fiji's discipline is looking suspect, with the attitude of 'when in doubt, spoil'. Wales will do well to exploit that.

8 mins: New Zealand-born Fiji prop Graham Dewes brings down the scrum and Gareth Thomas has no hesitation in advising Stephen Jones to go for the penalty, but his kick hits the right-hand post and rebounds about 10 metres from the line.

5 mins: Gareth Thomas' long kick down the right-hand side of the pitch causes all kinds of problems for Isoa Neivua, who concedes the first line-out of the game in a threatening position for Wales.

Stephen Jones settles any earlier nerves with a fairly straight-forward penalty. First blood to the men in red.

2 mins: Nearly a dream start to Wales - Stephen Jones launches himself from his own half and combines with Tom Shanklin to come close to putting Mark Jones over in the left-hand corner.

He falls just short so Wales work the ball quickly across the pitch to the right-hand cocner, but Shane Williams is bundled into touch just short of the line. If that's a sign of things to come, we're in for an energetic and entertaining game.

1 min: Stephen Jones gets things underway kicking off in glorious sunshine. Wales have won all six official matches between the teams, so it would suit Wales perfectly to make that seven out of seven.

Pre-match: The future of Wales coach Gareth Jenkins could rest on the outcome of this Pool B decider in Nantes.

Defeat will end Wales' stuttering World Cup campaign at the pool stage and heap pressure on coach Jenkins to resign.

Victory will set up a last eight tie with South Africa, the minimum goal Jenkins demanded before the tournament.

Iconic full-back Gareth Thomas will become the first Welshman to win 100 caps, but with so much at stake, any celebrations are on hold until the team's destiny is known.

Wales: Gareth Thomas (capt); Mark Jones, Tom Shanklin, James Hook, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees, Chris Horsman, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Colin Charvis, Martyn Williams, Alix Popham. Replacements: Thomas Rhys Thomas, Duncan Jones, Ian Gough, Michael Owen, Mike Phillips, Jamie Robinson, Dafydd James.

Fiji: Kameli Ratuvou; Vilimoni Delasau, Seru Rabeni, Seremaia Bai, Isoa Neivua; Nicky Little, Mosese Rauluni (capt); Graham Dewes, Sunia Koto, Jone Railomo, Kele Leawere, Ifereimi Rawaqa, Semisi Naevo, Akapusi Qera, Sisa Koyamaibole. Replacements: Vereniki Sauturaga, Henry Qiodravu, Wame Lewaravu, Aca Ratuva, Jone Daunivucu, Norman Ligairi, Sireli Bobo.

Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

Wales 72-18 Japan
20 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Fiji 29-16 Canada
16 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Wales 20-32 Australia
15 Sep 07 |  Welsh
Japan 31-35 Fiji
12 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Wales 42-17 Canada
09 Sep 07 |  Welsh
Rugby World Cup 2007 fixtures
20 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment
Wales RWC team guide
04 Sep 07 |  Team guides
Fiji RWC team guide
04 Sep 07 |  Team guides


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