Early blitz lifts Wales to win over Georgia

TOYOTA CITY, September  23 

Wales produced a tale of two halves as an electric start secured a deserved 43-14 bonus-point victory over Georgia in their Rugby World Cup Pool D clash today, before they wilted in the energy-sapping humidity.

The Welsh were rampant as tries from Jonathan Davies, Justin Tipuric, Josh Adams and Liam Williams effectively ended the contest, handing them a 29-0 advantage at halftime with the bonus-point in the bag. 

That endeavour and accuracy deserted them in a largely forgettable second 40 minutes, though, as scores from Tomos Williams and George North papered over gaping cracks in the Wales performance.

Fans allowed to bring food

Tokyo: Fans will now be able to bring food into the stadiums after the organising committee admitted that the service at some venues was “not befitting” that of a showpiece event. There were lengthy queues for both food and beverages at stadiums during the opening weekend with some vendors completely running out of some food options. In an unusual move for a major sporting event, the organisers will now allow fans to bring in “a reasonable amount of food” into the stadiums.  

It is normal for fans in Japan to be able to bring their own food, and in some cases beverages, into stadiums for sporting occasions but this was not the case for the opening seven matches across the World Cup’s opening weekend. Stadiums running out of food options comes despite years of planning and warnings from World Rugby specifically about the stocking of refreshment at stadiums. Organisers say that the inclusion of beer hawkers bringing drinks to fans in their seats, another common feature of the Japanese sport viewing experience, has meant that the demand for beverages has been met. The organisers had predicted up to 100,000 glasses of beers could be consumed at each match. 

Referee low five 

A congratulatory “low five” shared between referee Ben O’Keeffe and a Fiji player during the Pacific islanders’ opener against the Wallabies has been criticised by Australian media and invited further scrutiny on officiating at the tournament. After Fiji scored a try to move to a 21-12 lead in the second half of the match at Sapporo, video footage posted online shows New Zealander O’Keeffe extending his right hand as Fiji fullback Kini Murimurivalu jogs toward him. Murimurivalu slaps O’Keeffe’s hand as he jogs past. 

O’Keeffe, 30, was already under scrutiny for his officiating in Australia’s 39-21 win over Fiji, his World Cup debut. He failed to sanction a high hit by Australia winger Reece Hodge on Peceli Yato that left the Fiji flanker concussed and unable to play out the game. 

All Blacks take top ranking

New Zealand returned to the top of the world rankings after their opening victory over South Africa ended Ireland’s two-week stay at the summit. — Agencies