Rugby World Cup Quarterfinals

As we begin to close the chapter on the pool games of the 2015 Rugby World Cup it must be said we have been treated to a wonderful spectacle of
11 Oct 2015 10:16
Rugby World Cup  Quarterfinals
Ajay Bhai Amrit (left), with All Black legend and former New Zealand Rugby Union President Bryan Williams.

As we begin to close the chapter on the pool games of the 2015 Rugby World Cup it must be said we have been treated to a wonderful spectacle of rugby so far.

Traditionally during the pool stages the powerhouse top tier teams just warm up as they cruise through the group to the quarterfinals where the real do or die clashes take place. This has not been the case in this World Cup as we take a look at some of the highlights so far.

Maybe the biggest shock so far is Japan’s monumental win over South Africa, which is the biggest upset in World Rugby history. This win for Japan certainly gave the Tier 2 and 3 teams the confidence that they could also carry out similar feats of courage.

Just as shocking is England’s inability to make it out of the pool stages and being eliminated from the World Cup. This is the first time in World Cup Rugby history that the host nation has gone out in the pool stages of the competition.

The crowds have come out in droves to support the event and we have been treated to huge stadiums being filled to capacity throughout the tournament, which makes the atmosphere one to be savoured.

Georgia who have played their hearts out throughout this World Cup and have become one of the fans favourites have qualified for the next World Cup in 2019. They also returned to their home country as heroes even though many in the team are part time players.

We have also had a touch of romance after the game between Ireland and Romania where one of the Romanian forwards went down on one knee in front of the crowd and proposed to his girlfriend. The good news is she accepted his proposal.

Brian Habana who has been a great ambassador for the sport of Rugby has equalled the number of tries scored by any individual in World Cups. He now sits on the top of the scoreboard with Jonah Lomu with 15 tries a piece. He still has time to beat Lomu’s record as South Africa have qualified top of their pool to go into the quarterfinal.

Namibia managed to pick up their first ever competition point in World Cup rugby history by narrowly losing to Georgia 16 to 17, and in the process picking up that precious bonus point.

Wales have now become the number 2 ranked team in the world after beating England, Fiji and Uruguay in the past few weeks.

We must not forget Georgia’s incredible performance against Tonga and upsetting them against the odds to win the game.

Notable mentions need to be made to the Vodafone Flying Fijians who enthralled the crowds with their gutsy performances against England, Wales and Australia within the space of less than two weeks.

All in all it is turning out to be a very interesting World Cup indeed and for a change it is nice to hear the smaller nations in this competition grabbing the headlines day after day.

Former rugby All Black legend and winger Bryan Williams predicted this may be the case when I met up with him saying “that in this World Cup expect the unexpected as the smaller nations will certainly prove themselves”. These were wise words indeed from the man who represented New Zealand rugby for nine years and 113 matches and was also the president of the New Zealand Rugby Union and former coach of the Samoa national team.

Next week my column will be featured in Saturday’s edition of the Fiji Sun as it will be the fifth consecutive year that I have been writing for this newspaper and endeavouring to bring you the best in sports, Hollywood and Bollywood.


 The writer is a Fiji Sun

Feedback:  ajay@carvingdream.com


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