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Rugby World Cup: Fiji fight back to win against Georgia and close in on quarter-final place

Fiji are on the brink of the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after coming back from 9-0 half-time deficit, Australia still have hope of reaching last eight; Georgia are eliminated but will face Wales on Saturday before bowing out of the tournament

Fiji's Levani Botia, center right, celebrates with teammates after beating Georgia to edge closer to Rugby World Cup quarter-finals
Image: Fiji's Levani Botia, center right, celebrates with team-mates after helping his side beat Georgia

Fiji recovered from a nine-point half-time deficit to beat Georgia 17-12 in Bordeaux to edge closer to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

The Flying Fijians are hoping to make it to the final eight for the first time in 16 years, but were behind after two penalties by Georgia's Luka Matvaka and another from Davit Niniashvili.

Vern Cotter's side fought back in the second half with tries from Waisea Nayacalevu and Vinaya Habosi, converted by Frank Lomani, to earn their second win of the tournament.

However, Fiji were unable to claim a bonus point which leaves the door slightly ajar for Australia to reach the knock-out stages themselves.

For the first time in six years, they failed to score a point in the first half of a Test match.

Fiji got on the board, however, in the 51st minute after captain Nayacalevu snuck over in the corner with Lomani kicking a difficult conversion to make the score 9-7.

Semi Radradra's return from the sin bin added pressure on the Georgians and Fiji had the chance to take the lead after winning a penalty for an offside. Lomani split the posts to give Fiji the lead for the first time with 15 minutes of game time remaining.

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Habosi then burst clear of the Georgian defence to extend that lead, with Lomani converting again, but they finished the match with 14 players after Josua Tuisova was sent to the sin bin for making head contact on Miriani Modebadze.

Matkava kicked the resulting penalty to give Georgia hope, but they ultimately had to settle for a losing bonus point after Niniashvili's kick ahead off the final play was unable to find a team-mate.

Fiji's Teti Tela, right, comforts Georgia's Luka Matkava at their defeat in the Rugby World Cup
Image: Fiji's Teti Tela, comforts Georgia's Luka Matkava after the final whistle

After the final whistle, a dispatched Georgians side collapsed to the ground as the defeat confirmed their exit from the World Cup with one match, against Wales, remaining.

Fiji moved second in Pool C on 10 points behind Wales and need just a bonus point against Portugal in their final game to advance to the quarter-finals, where they are likely to face England, and condemn Australia to their first ever pool-stage exit.

What's next?

Georgia face Wales on Saturday, October 7 with kick off at 2pm while Fiji come up against Portugal on Sunday. October 8 at 8pm.

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