Fiji will play England in the quarter-final after handing Portugal their first ever Rugby World Cup win in a mesmerising 24-23 defeat at Stadium de Toulouse on Sunday, 8 October.
Fijian coach Simon Raiwalui said he was disappointed with the loss but credited Portugal for the win.
“Congratulations to Portugal. They played really well and stuck in there..
“Obviously disappointed not to get that win. We dropped too much ball and we were a bit tight given the context of the game..
“We have to reassess tomorrow. Very good tournament team England, so we are expecting a tough game.”
Portugal scored a late converted try to earn their first World Cup match win. However, Fiji earned a losing bonus point by being within 7 points of Portugal.
With Portugal ahead by a point, the Australian camp would have been screaming at their televisions in Saint-Etienne for the men in red to run the ball. Another converted try from Portugal would have seen Australia through to the quarterfinals instead!
It wasn’t to be. Portugal couldn’t care less about the Wallabies as they booted the ball out to claim their win.
Portugal captain Jose Lima was brought to tears by his team’s victory and said it meant everything to the fans and the players.
“You can see our fans, our team, that victory means so much,” Lima said.
“Today we show the world we can compete at this level, and we can win games at this level as well.”
Portugal’s power flanker, Nicolas Martins was awarded man of the match. At the post match interview he said they had worked hard for the win.
“I have no words to say, it is historic.. I think it is the best moment of my life,” Martins adds.”
Flying Fijians captain Waisea Nayacavelu also praised Portugal before admitting the squad would have to work on their mistakes before facing Steve Borthwick’s team.
“We’ve got to do our fine-tuning for next week, regroup and refocus and take it up to the next level.”
The Flying Fijians are the only Pacific Island team to advance to the quarterfinals of the RWC and will face England – who they beat in August – in Marseille next Sunday (Monday Pacific time).
Wallabies fly home
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has led Australia to their worst ever result at a World Cup
The Wallabies finished with two wins over Georgia and Portugal, and two lossses to Wales and Fiji to miss the World Cup finals for the first time.
The team had stayed in France in the hope Portugal would win by enough to get them out of the pool stage, but will now fly back to Australia on Tuesday.