The Latest: Wales beats Georgia 43-14 from 29-0 at halftime

By Associated Press 24 September 2019, 12:00AM

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 4 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):

9:15 p.m.

Wales has opened its campaign beating a resilient Georgia 43-14.

Tries from center Jonathan Davies, flanker Justin Tipuric, left winger Josh Adams and fullback Liam Williams helped to put Six Nations Grand Slam winner Wales 29-0 up at halftime.

But a converted try from hooker Shalva Mamukashvili early gave Georgia some confidence in what proved to be an even second half: 2-2 in converted tries.

Scrumhalf Tomos Williams got the fifth Wales try after sprinting to reach winger George North's astute kick ahead just in time.

But Georgia's powerful pack had the upper hand on Wales, and prop Levan Chilachava barged over for his team's second try.

Tomos Williams then set up North with a one-handed pass, and North broke two tackles in squirming over the line for the sixth try.


8:05 p.m.

Six Nations Grand Slam winner Wales leads Georgia 29-0 at halftime in their opening Pool D game.

Georgia got overwhelmed inside the first 20 minutes, before steadily improving.

Center Jonathan Davies' opening try came after two minutes - the fastest of the tournament.

It was unconverted only because the usually assured flyhalf Dan Biggar somehow botched the easiest conversion possible, hitting the upright from right in front of the posts.

Flanker Justin Tipuric, speedy left winger Josh Adams, from 40 meters out into the left corner, added tries to make it 22-0 after 19 minutes.

Fullback Liam Williams picked up Davies' loose pass off his feet and charged over just before the break for a converted try.

Two veterans are playing in their fourth World Cup: Georgia flanker Mamuka Gorgodze and Wales lock and captain Alun Wyn Jones.


7 p.m.

Russia winger Kirill Golosnitskiy was pleasantly surprised when he received a katana — Japanese sword — from Japan captain Michael Leitch after scoring the first try of the tournament.

"It's a plastic one, so there shouldn't be any issue if I decide to take it home to Russia with me," Golosnitskiy said.

The try last Friday night came in the fifth minute, making it the fastest in the opening game of any Rugby World Cup. Japan rallied to win 30-10.

"I was glad to make a try against the Japanese," Golosnitskiy said. "But I don't consider it to be an achievement as everything was done by (Russia captain) Vasily Artemyev for me."

Russia's next game is against Samoa on Tuesday.


6:30 p.m.

Australia winger Reece Hodge's hearing on a dangerous tackle charge will be held in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Hodge was cited Sunday for a dangerous tackle on Fiji flanker Peceli Yato in Saturday's Pool D game at Sapporo and could be facing a ban of between two and 10 weeks.

Hodge's shoulder made contact with Yato's head and neck area while making the try-saving tackle on the Fijian in the 25th minute of Australia's 39-21 win. Hodge also didn't appear to use his arms in making the tackle.

The referee and the television match official made no sanction during the game, but Fiji referred the tackle to the citing commission. Yato left the game with symptoms of concussion and has been ruled out of Fiji's second pool game against Uruguay.

World Rugby said Hodge would attend a hearing at 3 p.m. local time in Tokyo. The case will be heard by an independent judicial committee chaired by New Zealand lawyer Nigel Hampton, former international coach Frank Hadden of Scotland and former referee José Luis Rolandi of Argentina.


4:20 p.m.

Hamish Watson has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup after injuring his knee in Scotland's opening 27-3 loss to Ireland.

The 27-year-old flanker has been replaced in the squad by his Edinburgh clubmate Magnus Bradbury, who was in Japan on standby as injury cover. Watson injured his left knee just before halftime and was taken from the field by medical staff. Scans confirmed the tournament-ending injury.

"While there is a high probability of picking up injuries during a World Cup, it's always disappointing to see someone having to head home," head coach Gregor Townsend said in a statement. "We feel for Hamish, who had worked so hard for this opportunity and wish him well in his recovery."

Scotland's next game in Pool A is against Samoa at Kobe on Sept. 30.


3:55 p.m.

Two sons of Uruguayan rugby great Diego Ormaechea have been included on the bench for the team's World Cup opener against Fiji.

Scrumhalf Agustin Ormaechea and backrower Juan Diego Ormaechea were part of coach Esteban Meneses' 23-man squad for Wednesday's Pool D game at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.

Diego scored a try in Uruguay's win over Spain in 1999 and was the oldest player, at 40, to compete in the Rugby World Cup.

Agustin Ormaechea, who started all four of Uruguay's games in the 2015 World Cup, was replaced in one of three changes to the starting lineup that lost to Spain in a test in July. Diego Arbelo, Santiago Arata and Felipe Berchesi were promoted to start ahead of Ormaechea, Juan Pedro Rombys and Leandro Leivas.

Fiji made 12 changes to its starting XV from its opening loss to two-time champion Australia.

Uruguay: Gaston Mieres, Nicolas Freitas, Juan Manuel Cat, Andres Vilaseca, Rodrigo Silva, Felipe Berchesi, Santiago Arata; Manuel Diana, Santiago Civetta, Juan Manuel Gaminara (captain), Manuel Leindekar, Ignacio Dotti, Diego Arbelo, German Kessler, Mateo Sanguinetti. Reserves: Guillermo Pujadas, Facundo Gattas, Juan Pedro Rombys, Franco Lamanna, Juan Diego Ormaechea, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Etcheverry, Tomas Inciarte.


3:20 p.m.

New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick's recovery from a dislocated left shoulder and nerve damage is progressing ahead of schedule, says assistant coach Ian Foster.

Retallick was hurt against South Africa on July 26 but his value to the All Blacks was such that he was picked for the World Cup in hope he would be available by the quarterfinals, at least.

He has full range in the shoulder, has been lifting without problems for a week, and doing soft contact against tackle bags. But he has yet to undergo full contact and tackles.

"Will he be playing in pool play? Don't know. Is there a chance? Yes there is," Foster said. "Have a bit of patience."


3:15 p.m.

Samoa winger Ah See Tuala has strained his calf muscle and was withdrawn from the starting lineup for the Pool A match against Russia on Tuesday in Kumagaya.

That prompted a major reshuffle of the backline.

Alapati Leiua moved from center to wing, Rey Lee-Lo from inside to outside center, Henry Taefu was promoted from the reserves to inside center, and UJ Seuteni was brought onto the bench.

Samoa: Tim Nanai-Williams, Alapati Leiua, Rey Lee-Lo, Henry Taefu, Ed Fidow, Tusi Pisi, Dwayne Polataivao; Afaesetiti Amosa, TJ Ioane, Chris Vui (captain), Kane Le'aupepe, Teofilo Paulo, Michael Alaalatoa, Motu Matu'u, Logovii Mulipola. Reserves: Ray Niuia, Paul Alo-Emile, Jordan Lay, Senio Toleafoa, Josh Tyrell, Melani Matavao, AJ Alatimu, UJ Seuteni.


2:55 p.m.

U.S. head coach Gary Gold has selected 19-year-old prop David Ainu'u to start in the front row when the Eagles open their Rugby World Cup campaign against 2003 champion England at Kobe on Thursday.

The Americans have been preparing for the tournament in Okinawa, while England opened on Sunday with a 35-3 win over Tonga at Sapporo.

The 23-man U.S.-squad contains eight players who are attached to English clubs, and will be led by former Leicester Tigers back Blaine Scully.

England won 28-10 at the 2007 World Cup, the last time the two countries met at rugby's marquee tournament.

"We have massive respect for England as they are a very well-coached and talented rugby team," Gold said. "These are exactly the kind of competitive test matches we want to play to continuously test ourselves and grow as a rugby nation."

The Americans are in a tough group with England, three-time finalist France, two-time semifinalist Argentina and Tonga.

United States: Will Hooley, Blaine Scully (captain), Marcel Brache, Paul Lasike, Martin Iosefo, AJ MacGinty, Shaun Davies; Cam Dolan, John Quill, Tony Lamborn, Nick Civetta, Ben Landry, Titi Lamositele, Joe Taufete'e, David Ainuu. Reserves: Dylan Fawsitt, Olive Kilifi, Paul Mullen, Greg Peterson, Hanco Germishuys, Ruben de Haas, Bryce Campbell, Mike Te'o.


2:15 p.m.

South Africa prop Trevor Nyakane is out of the Rugby World Cup after tearing his right calf muscle in the 23-13 loss to New Zealand.

The Springboks have drafted in Thomas du Toit as a replacement and he is flying to Japan from France, where he was on a short-term loan with Toulouse.

South Africa says du Toit will arrive at the team camp in Nagoya on Tuesday ahead of the Pool B game against Namibia on Saturday.

Nyakane will be a big loss for South Africa after giving the Boks strong momentum in the scrum off the bench in recent matches. Vincent Koch will likely move up to the bench as cover for starting tighthead Frans Malherbe.

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus says "it's very tough on Trevor. He has had a great season and added value whenever he took the field. It's a blow to him and the team, but it's also an opportunity for Thomas and for Vincent."


1:50 p.m.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been critical of Fiji for referring a tackle by Australian winger Reece Hodge to the citing committee following their Pool D opener but not raising the issue among coaches after the game in Sapporo.

Hodge was cited Sunday for a dangerous tackle on Fiji flanker Peceli Yato in Saturday's game and could be facing a ban of between two and 10 weeks.

"Probably the most disappointing thing was the Fijians. After the game we had a lot of friendly discussion (and) there was no mention of anything, and to get a referral from them and the way it was referred, that was really disappointing," Cheika told reporters Monday. "I don't find the way they brought that (to be) in the spirit of the game at all."

Hodge's shoulder made contact with Yato's head and neck area while making the try-saving tackle on the Fijian in the first half of Australia's 39-21 win. Hodge also didn't appear to use his arms in making the tackle.

The referee and the television match official made no sanction during the game, leaving Fiji to decide whether or not to take the matter further. Yato left the game with symptoms of concussion and has been ruled out of Fiji's second pool game against Uruguay.

World Rugby said Hodge will attend a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on a date to be confirmed.

The disciplinary charges have been polarizing. Supporters of the decision say Reece was at fault in the contact; critics say the contact was part-and-parcel of a physical game.


1 p.m.

Fiji coach John McKee has made 12 changes to the starting lineup which lost to Australia in the Pool D opener for Wednesday's game against Uruguay at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.

Forward leaders Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Leone Nakarawa were retained, and former rugby league star Semi Radradra moves into the centers from the wing to take on Uruguay.

The Fijians took it to two-time champion Australia in Sapporo, leading 8-0, 14-7 and 21-12 before the Wallabies rallied for a 39-21 win.

The lineup changes will give the backup players valuable experience, and give the regular starters a chance to rest and recover ahead of later group games against Georgia and Six Nations champion Wales. Only the top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals, which is Fiji's target at the tournament.

Hooker Mesulame Dolokoto, center Jale Vatubua and winger Filipo Nakosi will be on Rugby World Cup debut.

Flyhalf Ben Volavola, who started all Fiji's games at the 2015 World Cup and also against Australia last weekend, was included on the bench.

Fiji: Alivereti Veitokani, Filipo Nakosi, Semi Radradra, Jale Vatubua, Vereniki Goneva, Josh Matavesi, Henry Seniloli; Leone Nakarawa, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain), Api Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Manasa Saulo, Mesulame Dolokoto, Eroni Mawi. Reserves: Tuvere Vugakoto, Campese Ma'afu, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Tevita Cavubati, Samuel Matavesi, Nikola Matawalu, Ben Volavola, Levani Botia.


12:30 p.m.

After a hectic opening weekend featuring seven games at the Rugby World Cup, Six Nations champion Wales gets its campaign started on Monday in Pool D against Georgia.

The delayed start means the Welsh have a shorter turn around before facing two-time champion Australia on Sunday in a game that could determine who wins the group. Australia opened on Saturday with comeback win over Fiji.

The defending champion New Zealand All Blacks had the toughest opening assignment, starting with a 23-13 win over South Africa that continued their unbeaten streak in World Cup group games.

Among the other leading contenders, Ireland was too good for Scotland and England beat Tonga in group games on Sunday.


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By Associated Press 24 September 2019, 12:00AM

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