Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu complained about unconscious refereeing bias after his facet narrowly misplaced to England within the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
Fiji outscored England by three tries to 2 however have been overwhelmed 30-24 in Marseille after England captain Owen Farrell kicked 20 factors, together with 5 penalties.
Fiji had wing Vinaya Habosi sin-binned within the first half for a head-on-head contact with Marcus Smith, however Nayacalevu was extra aggravated concerning the refereeing of the breakdown by France’s Mathieu Raynal.
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“I’m very emotional at the moment, a lot has been happening in the week, and I’m just proud of the boys,” stated Nayacalevu, whose Fiji facet has needed to cope with two household bereavements throughout the event.
“A few calls didn’t go our way. We’re just fighting, I just ask that we can have a fair decision when the team plays,” he added.
“Already the ruck was formed and (England’s Maro) Itoje just came in and grabbed the ball — three times in the game.”
Asked whether or not he thought that confirmed there was within the thoughts of referees an unconscious bias that favoured the larger groups, like England, Nayacalevu was unequivocal.
“Absolutely! You guys watched the game, you guys can answer that,” he informed reporters.
“It kills the momentum of our game, of what we want to play, if you know what I mean.”
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– ‘We had opportunities to win’ –
Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui refused responsible Raynal, although, and stated his staff had did not take their possibilities.
“The referees do a great job, it’s the hardest position, you’re isolated,” stated Raiwalui, who was once a participant and a coach in France.
“Sure, there’s things that you contest, there’s things that you maybe don’t agree with, but first and foremost we had opportunities to score, we had opportunities to win the game.”
And Raiwalui disagreed along with his captain about referees being swayed in direction of the Tier 1 nations.
“They do a wonderful job, they don’t go out there to pick a team,” he stated. “Sometimes there’s mistakes, sometimes the rub of the green doesn’t go your way, but it’s important we support them and don’t isolate them.
“We’re very appreciative of everything they do.”
In Raiwalui’s view, Fiji let themselves down with their self-discipline within the first half, the place they trailed 21-10 earlier than a stirring second-half fightback introduced them briefly stage at 24-24.
“A loss is a loss, it’s disappointing. We didn’t help ourselves in the first half,” admitted Raiwalui.
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Farrell sends England into World Cup semi-finals
Owen Farrell scored a late drop purpose and penalty to ship England into the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.
First-half tries from centres Manu Tuilagi and Joe Marchant had regarded to have despatched England on their approach to a semi-final towards both hosts France or reigning champions South Africa.
But Fiji, who scored tries by means of Viliame Mata, Peni Ravai and Vilimoni Botitu, produced a stirring fightback in Marseille though in the long run Farrell’s 20 factors with the boot proved decisive.
That denied Fiji the prospect to make historical past and a primary ever final 4 look as they fell on the quarter-final stage for the third time.
The opening to the sport was fierce, with Fiji’s famed tacklers to the fore, profitable a few early turnovers.
But it was after England’s first turnover, claimed by Courtney Lawes, that Farrell was capable of kick a easy penalty from beneath the posts.
Farrell kicked England’s subsequent penalty to the nook and whereas Fiji held up the preliminary catch and drive, Tuilagi burst across the blindside to energy by means of two tacklers, twist and stretch his arm over the road to attain one-handed.
A superb counter-ruck from Fiji arrange a penalty for the Pacific Islanders, however Frank Lomani’s kick struck the submit.
Lomani didn’t miss his subsequent probability, although, after a no-arms deal with from Tom Curry and England led 8-3 after the primary quarter.
The match appeared to have taken a decisive activate 24 minutes as England poured ahead, with Marchant stepping inside regardless of an overlap to attain a second attempt.
In the build-up, although, Vinaya Habosi made head-on-head contact with Marcus Smith within the deal with and he was proven a yellow card.
Yet the 14 males rallied.
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Lomani missed a second penalty however quickly after Fiji struck again as a intelligent go by means of his legs by fly-half Botitu arrange No.8 Mata to promote a dummy and dart over.
Although they have been outscored with a numerical benefit, England quickly wrestled again management and two extra Farrell penalties gave them a 21-10 lead on the break.
– Flying Fijians come alive –
The second half changed into a battle of attrition and have become more and more scrappy and fractious, with the 2 groups’ openside flankers, Curry and Levani Botia, nearly coming to blows at one stage.
Farrell kicked a penalty after which noticed a long-range effort come up simply quick. But the sport got here alive on 64 minutes when alternative prop Ravai hit an ideal line onto Simione Kuruvoli’s go to blast over and rating.
Suddenly, Fiji had their tails up and after scrum-half Kuruvoli hit the submit with a penalty, the Pacific Islanders struck once more.
Semi Radradra’s good offload despatched Isoa Nasilasila streaking by means of a spot and he fed Botitu to attain Fiji’s third attempt.
Kuruvoli’s conversion levelled the scores at 24-24.
Farrell had the final phrase, although, and regardless of Fiji enjoying on for nearly six minutes after the ultimate hooter, they may not discover a profitable transformed attempt.