Session One Recap of Day 3 at the BT WWRC
By Nathaniel Holland
The Pool stages are coming to an end and the serious contenders have started to make themselves known.
Day three kicked off with a bang as Australia became the first team to confirm their spot in the semi-finals.
In the other games Canada and Japan both won their games against South Africa and France respectively as they set their sights on a high finish to round off the Pool stages.
Nathaniel Holland looks at all the action from the early games in day three.
Australia 66-56 France
Australia cruised through to the semi-finals, rounding off their Pool B matches with a 66-56 victory over France.
That leaves Oliver Cusin’s men still searching for their first victory of the tournament with Japan their next opponents.
Ryley Batt was a standout performer in the opening quarter, scoring 16 of his nation’s 20 tries as they took a six-point lead into the second period.
France’s Ryadh Sallem was determined not to be in the shadow of Batt and he scored all 14 tries for his country in the opening quarter.
France were on top in the second period and took advantage of Australia’s decision to give Batt a rest on the substitutes bench.
Jonathan Hivernat replaced the in-form Sallem and the high-pointer did not disappoint scoring eight times as France went in at the break needing four points to draw level.
France remained on top in the second half and through everything they had at the world champions.
Hivernat continued to find the line to add to his personal tally and they were only three points behind with one period remaining.
Australia showed why they are ranked number one in the world with an efficient final quarter and they were able to counteract the threats from Sallem and Hivernat to end the game with a ten-point lead, winning 66-56.
Canada 59–13 South Africa
Canada continued their unbeaten record in this competition with a convincing 59-13 victory over South Africa, who finish bottom of Pool A following three straight defeats.
South Africa struggled against the solid Canadian defence in the first half, scoring just twice in 16 minutes of action.
Jaco Dorfling’s South Africa side looked much improved in the second half as they tried to restore some pride and limit their losses.
Okker Anker inspired his nation in attack and they managed eight tries, ending their try drought came to an end.
Anker was the standout performer for South Africa, claiming ten of his country’s 13 tries as they finish bottom of Pool A, leaving them to compete for the minor places.
Canada have now made it two wins from two to sit just above USA with a game against New Zealand to come later today.
Japan 57-52 France
Japan won their first game of the week and condemned France to a third straight defeat to set up a must win game against Great Britain later today.
The world number four team managed to win by five points with a 57-52 score line.
It was a physical encounter and France, having already played once this morning, just couldn’t find the winning edge against an impressive Japanese team.
Daisuke Ikezaki was on fine form again in the game as he helped Japan build an early five point lead after the first quarter.
France battled in the second period and Sebastien Lhuissier scored seven as he tried to galvanise the French side into pulling the score back.
Japan were resilient and extended their advantage to seven points leading into the half time break.
The third quarter was tense as France pulled the score to within four points but Japan held on restoring a seven-point gap with one period to play.
France had nothing left to give and Japan managed the clock well to confirm victory and give them a chance at progressing to the semi-finals.
Watch all the games live at www.IWRF.com
for full details visit www.wwrc15.com.