Day two of the Rugby World Cup provided wins for Australia, France and New Zealand in their opening matches of the tournament, in a day that almost saw a shock result.
Australia certainly didn’t have it all their own way in their first game against Fiji. The two-time winners of this tournament were trailing in the game until the 62nd minute.
Peceli Yato scored a try with just eight minutes played, and despite Australia’s Michael Hooper going over just ten minutes later and then another from Reece Hodge just before half time, three penalties from Ben Volavola kept Fiji in the lead at the break by two points.
A shock Fiji win looked on the cards as the second half progressed as Waisea Nayacalevu pounced on a loose ball and charged from halfway to score under the posts. 12-19 the score.
But Australia were just too good for Fiji for the remainder of the second half, with four second half tries for the Wallabies' securing a 39-21 win.
Disappointment for Fiji who gave so much in the game but ultimately ended their first Pool D game with defeat.
Next up was a thrilling match and close encounter between France and Argentina in Pool C.
Two tries in the opening 22 minutes for France helped them race into a 14-3 lead which extended to 20-3 at the break.
But a second half comeback from Argentina turned the game on its head.
Tries from Guido Petti Pagadizaval and Julian Montoya reduced the deficit and then two Benjamin Urdapilleta penalties handed The Pumas a 21-20 lead.
That advantage only lasted a minute though, as France’s Camille Lopez kicked a drop goal that landed inches over the post to resotre France’s advantage with ten minutes to go.
Les Bleus managed to hold onto the lead and the win, to ge their campaign up and running despite a second half coach Jacques Brunel will want to forget.
The final game of the day was played between two sides who will feel they can win the World Cup, with holders New Zealand up against two-time winners South-Africa in Pool B.
South Africa got themselves off to a fast start and were causing the All Blacks all sorts of problems. Handre Pollard scoring a penalty after just two minutes.
But an outstanding try from George Bridge on 25 minutes gave New Zealand the lead and they didn’t look back.
Just three minutes later and another try for New Zealand, Scott Barrett charging through to score under the posts and suddenly the All Blacks were 17-3 up, and that’s how the scores remained at half time.
New Zealand had never lost a 14 point lead at half time in any game in their history, but South Africa made the perfect start to the second period.
Pieter-Steph du Toit picked up a New Zealand ball at the breakdown and ran under the posts to reduce the deficit to just seven points.
Handre Pollard then converted a drop kick to leave South Africa just four points behind with 20 minutes to play.
But two penalties were enough to give New Zealand some breathing space and the All Blacks were off to a fantastic start to the 2019 World Cup with a 23-13 win.
Tomorrow Italy face Nambia, before Ireland take on Scotland and then England go up against Tonga.
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