Semi-final Round Up


We now know that England will take on Australia on December 2nd in their first World Cup final since 1995. Until then we round up this weeks semi-final action.

Australia vs Fiji:
The Fijians had a chance to beat the team that dumped them out of the semi-finals in 2013, Fiji would get the first little victory of the game, when Korisau would take the 2 points on offer, after just 6 minutes.

It wouldn't take the Roo's long to bite back though, a perfectly executed line move would create space for Billy Slater, for the first of a double, on the left edge to give Australia the lead, and Slater the record for "most World Cup tries" on 16 now. First half tries from Slater, Gagai and Holmes (2) would have Australia take a commanding lead

At half time the game was still a contest at 24-2, teams have recovered from worse, Fiji never did recover, a mixture of good defence and ill discipline would see Australia run riot in the second half.

Holmes was clearly not content with the 5 tries he scored last week, so instead he decided to score 6, this takes his total for the tournament to 12 in just his 5th game. Dane Gagai would grab a double for Australia, and on the hour mark, Vunivalu would grab a consolation try for Fiji. Smith had his kicking boots on, putting 7 of his 10 kicks over to give Australia a 54 points to 6 victory.

England vs Tonga:
England were absolutely flawless for 70 minutes, unfortunately for England fans everywhere, a Rugby match is 80 minutes. England started very quickly, their completion rate was solid, their defence was unbreakable. England would open the scoring in the 9th minute through a perfect line move with Jermaine Mcgilvary on the receiving end, Widdop added the extras.

Tonga looked to have replied quickly, when Manu Ma'u received a ball off the deck from Michael Jennings, the referee deemed it to be double movement and gave the penalty England's way. The English, off the back of the penalty, performed a set play that saw Elliott Whitehead break the line and offload for Gareth Widdop to score, the try was given after a review to check for double movement, Widdop converted again.

The match would turn into an arm wrestle with no more points scored until Widdop kicked a penalty to give England a 14-0 lead with 30 minutes to play. England would look home and hosed when John Bateman forced his way over with 15 minutes remaining, Widdop going 4 for 4, England now 20-0 up.

The 70th minute, that's when the momentum suddenly shifted, the crowd lifting Tonga. They were playing with belief again, the Mate Ma'a would be rewarded with a try on the 73rd minute from Tevita Pangai Junior, 20-6 with 6 minutes to play.

Tonga suddenly exploded into action, England were missing tackles, leaving gaps, and just 3 minutes later, Havili would take advantage of a quick play the ball and stride in untouched, from 10 metres out, the extras added 20-12. It would lead to a nervous few minutes for England fans everywhere, but nobody could predict what would happen in the last 2 minutes of the game.

Straight from the kick off Tonga raced down field, Taumalolo with the initial break, and then a draw and pass on fullback Gareth Widdop put Lolohea in under the sticks, 20-18. Absolute chaos would descend next as the Tongan's threw everything at the English line, with 10 seconds left to play Fifita went over the top of Brown and through a hole, it looked odds on that this would be 2013 all over again for England fans, until Whitehead at full stretch dislodged the ball, by attacking the ball carrying arm, Fifita would regather and ground it in the in goal area.

Fifita rose to his feet pumping the air, until referee Matt Ceccin would rule this as a knock on, much to the bemusement of 25,000 Tongan fans, he blew the final whistle and England survived.

Pom


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