Fiji turned Wales’ defeat into an Australian victory with fewer broadcasts

SAINT-ETIENNE: Fiji's surprise victory over Australia in the World Cup on Sunday came despite the Pacific islanders carrying the ball only half as often as in their dramatic opening defeat to Wales.

The Fijians only had 88 runs but were very effective and still boast the highest number of dominant collisions (45) per game after beating a Wallabies team with the second-worst tackling success rate (77%) of the 20 teams .

With Fiji spending just 24 seconds inside the Australian 22-meter line, the key to victory was the outstanding performance of scrumhalf Simione Kuruvoli, who scored five out of five goals, including two penalties from more than 40 meters.

However, when it comes to punishing teams for indiscipline, pragmatic hosts France are unrivaled, according to World Rugby's technical analysis, with 21 points from penalties in their two Pool A victories over New Zealand and Uruguay.

The difficulty they had in defeating the South Americans in Lille may have been due in part to Los Teros winning 51 percent of collisions in the game, second best in the round.

Knocking away possession was also an effective tactic in the first two rounds, as the high temperatures made the sweat-soaked ball slippery and harder to catch.

England were the most enthusiastic players, converting an astonishing 84 per cent of their possessions in their victories over Argentina and Japan in Group D.

After big wins over Romania and Tonga, leaders Ireland dominate the attacking numbers, although excitement over their attacking prowess may be put on hold until they face world champions South Africa in Pool B in round three.

The Irish have the only average ruck speed under three seconds and average the most carries (148) and yards gained (826) per game.

New Zealand have matched the Irish in their first two games (29) and have topped the tournament with a win over the win line (64%) after a loss to France and a comfortable win over Namibia.

Wales still lead the tackle statistics after their remarkable defensive performance in the opening Group C game against Fiji with a total of 365 after defeating Portugal.

Among the top individual players after the first two rounds, hard-working Irish center Bundee Aki leads the way in tries (4), runs (39), line breaks (7) and running meters (375).

Unsurprisingly, England's George Ford's shoe dominates the individual kicking stats, as the flyhalf shot nearly 1,000 yards off-hand in the first two rounds. He is also the top scorer with 41 points from penalties and drop goals and has only missed one shot on goal so far.

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