Australia 15-22 Fiji: Flying Fijians beat the Wallabies for the first time at Rugby World Cup

Fiji's Josua Tuisova scores a try against Australia
Winger Josua Tuisova plays for Racing 92 in France's Top 14

Rugby World Cup: Australia v Fiji

Australia (8) 15

Tries: Nawaqanitawase, Foketi Cons: Donaldson Pens: Donaldson

Fiji (12) 22

Tries: Tuisova Cons: Kuruvoli Pens: Kuruvoli 4, Lomani

Fiji beat Australia for just the third time in their history as they blew Pool C wide open with a thrilling win at the Rugby World Cup.

Fine kicking from Simione Kuruvoli put Fiji 12-8 up at half-time before Josua Tuisova crossed after the restart.

Lalakai Foketi went over late on to cut the deficit to 22-15 but Eddie Jones' side could not mount a comeback.

Fiji's first-ever World Cup win over the Wallabies moves them above their opponents into second in Pool C.

The pair are locked together on six points after two matches with Fiji ahead thanks to their head-to-head record.

"I'm emotionally drained at the moment," said Fiji head coach Simon Raiwalui after full-time.

"It was a great contest. It kept us guessing until the end. We pushed the boys to the limits and they've never once complained.

"I think there will be a few boys sore but I'm super proud."

With just the top two advancing to the quarter-finals, Fiji's match in Saint-Etienne was crucial.

The Flying Fijians had lost their opening pool game 32-26 against Wales and would have faced an uphill battle to reach the knockouts with a second consecutive defeat.

Victory appeared unlikely; they had last beaten Australia 69 years ago and had lost 17 of their past 18 Tests against the Wallabies.

But they started with control, with two Kuruvoli penalties giving them a 6-3 lead.

A quick line-out after an Australian 50-20 set up Mark Nawaqanitawase to cross unopposed, putting the two-time winners in front against the run of play.

But two more Kuruvoli penalties helped Fiji edge to a 12-8 half-time lead.

Two minutes after the restart, Australia failed to deal with a routine box kick and Tuisova latched on to the loose ball before diving over in the corner.

And the lead was extended to 22-8 by a 65th-minute Kuruvoli penalty, although the scrum-half did miss a further kick, which would have given his side a 15-point advantage.

Australian Kuruvoli squeezed over with 12 minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish, but it was to be their last score as Fiji defended resolutely in the closing stages.

Fiji's victory was their 15th over a tier one nation and their second in three weeks, having beaten England in a warm-up fixture in August.

Kuruvoli did miss a last-minute penalty that would have denied Australia a losing bonus point.

But the Fijians, who face Georgia next after a week off, are in a brilliant position to reach the knockouts of the World Cup for just a third time.

'We were off today' - Jones

Wallabies head coach Jones admitted his side now have "soul searching to do" after they were "outplayed".

Australia have never failed to advance from the pool stage at a World Cup.

But, with pool leaders Wales to play next week, they are in serious danger of recording their worst-ever finish.

"For some reason we were just off today - if you look at the stats, we dominated," said Jones.

"We scored two tries to one, but we were a poor version of ourselves. So there's a bit of soul searching to do, but it makes the Wales game pretty important."

Coming into Sunday's match, Australia had recorded 15 successive wins over Fiji. Since the start of 1985, they had played and beaten the Fijians nine times, scoring at least 31 points in eight of those victories.

They played this game without captain Will Skelton who was unable to shake off a calf injury before the fixture.

And in front of a boisterous crowd in Saint-Etienne, they were laboured in possession, conceding 18 penalties to Fiji's seven.

"It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Fiji," added Jones.

"They outplayed us, particularly around the ruck, and in a close game like that, that's the difference."

The Wallabies have lost their second match in the pool stages twice before, to Ireland in 2011 and Wales in 2019. On both occasions, they rallied and advanced as runners-up.


Australia: Donaldson; Nawaqanitawase, Petaia, Kerevi, Koroibete; Gordon, White; Bell, Porecki (capt), Slipper, Frost, Arnold, Hooper, McReight, Valetini.

Replacements: Uelese, Schoupp, Nonggorr, Philip, Leota, Fines-Leleiwasa, Foketi, Vunivalu.

Fiji: Droasese; Wainiqolo, Nayacalevu (capt), Tuisova, Radradra; Tela, Kuruvoli; Mawi, Matavesi, Tagi, Nasilasila, Cirikidaveta, Tagitagivalu, Botia, Mata.

Replacements: Ikanivere, Ravai, Doge, Mayanavanua, Tuisue, Lomani, Botitu, Habosi.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)