Fiji advance despite loss to Portugal, Australia out

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Fiji advanced to face England in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, eliminating Australia, despite suffering a stunning 24-23 loss to Portugal who secured their first ever win in this tournament at the eighth attempt.

Rodrigo Marta’s 78th-minute try was converted by Samuel Marques to make history for Portugal, who were playing in only their second World Cup.

But although Fiji’s players slumped to the turf in frustration, they can look forward to a quarter-final appearance after picking up a losing bonus point to send Australia out at the pool stage for the first time in World Cup history.

After a scrappy first half ended 3-3, the game came to life in the second half with Portugal seizing the initiative.

The underdogs got the first try in the 45th minute when the impressive Raffaele Storti, who narrowly missed a try in the first half, chased down a kick into the corner from Pedro Bettencourt and stretched to touch down, with Marques kicking the conversion.

That fired Fiji into life and just three minutes later Levani Botia replied with a powerful run before Frank Lomani levelled the scores with the extras.

But Botia was then sent to the sin bin for making head contact and Portugal were quick to make Fiji pay as they powered their way over the line with Francisco Fernandes touching down, Marques making it 17-10.

Fiji responded once more, working the ball out for Mesake Doge to go over before Lomani tied the scores, and they looked on course for victory as Lomani kicked a couple of penalties in the last 10 minutes to put Fiji 23-17 up.

But there was one last bit of drama as Storti raced towards the line and then fed Marta to finish it off in the 78th minute, with Marques splitting the posts to give Portugal a shock win.