With the scent of fairytale in the air Fiji have slogged their way past an underwhelming Kiwi outfit to face the might of Australia in this enthralling Semi-Final fixture. Many fans of the game are hoping upon hope to witness yet another upset as has seemed to be commonplace in this exciting World Cup.
The Kangaroos aren’t known as being too fond of upsets, particularly because they’re rarely in the underdog role. The Kangaroos stand to be a significant gulf in class to what Fiji has faced throughout the tournament and many pundits are putting their hard earned behind yet another Green and Gold victory by a substantial margin.
3 KEY POINTS
- Despite not scoring a try in the quarterfinal against he kiwis, the Fijians remain the tournament’s highest scoring side, putting up 172 points.
- Australia have kept opponents to 6 points or less in their last 9 World Cup matches and have kept a clean sheet in 5 of those.
- Fiji have the tournament’s highest scorer with Suliasi Vunivalu leading the way with 8 tries in 4 games.
- Australia has won by a minimum of 32 points in 8 of their last 9 World Cup matches
- Australia’s margin of victory over Fiji in the 5 encounters between the squads has been 54 points.
- Kangaroos 282 : 10 Bati – Doesn’t get more one sided than that over the 5 games these teams have played.
First Try Scorer
- The Australian backline is priced quite short and can you really blame the markets. There is one mismatch which sticks out like a sore thumb. Uate in the centres? That’s cute on paper when your playing the relentless U.S.A or the fiery Welsh but when you play big boy teams you need big boy players. Uate is anything but that. The diminutive outside back is not accustomed to playing in the centres and as such will face a tirade of traffic from the crafty Kangaroos. He will be matched up against Will Chambers who is as fast as he is powerful. I see Chambers getting a double in this contest and Montoya on Uate’s outside is a good offensive talent but may not be able to cover his inside man well enough to keep Chambers out.
- The Kangaroos score, it’s what they do. They have too much talent not to. On the other side of the ledger the Fijians have game breakers all across the park. Vunivalu can score from any point on the field and currently sits as the tournament leader, Hayne can shimmy his way through almost any defensive line and Api Koroisau has been masterful around the ruck.
- Both these teams know how to score points and Friday night’s fixture shouldn’t be any different. Fiji will need to score to keep up with the Australians which will not only mean enterprising play from the underdog, but will open up holes in either side’s line to be exploited. With the total set at 44 points, I can see this one settling around the 34-12 mark at a minimum. Having a team who is comfortable chancing their hand will mean that points will be able to come quick, fast and in a hurry.
Winner (margin): Australia (-28.5)
First Try scorer: Will Chambers
Total Points: Over 44
Value pick: Will Chambers to score 2+ tries