‘Russians have done their country very proud’

Russia’s rugby team have achieved something Italy and Ireland failed to do – score a try against Australia at the World Cup.

Australia’s troubles at the Rugby World Cup don’t seem to be over yet. Besides conceding three tries to the rugby elite’s newbies, Russia, in the 68-22 win at Trafalgar Park on Saturday, they lost winger Drew Mitchell to a left hamstring injury that could end his tournament.

The Wallabies scored 10 tries but only won the second half 21-17 against the World Cup novices.

Australia had secured a bonus point for scoring four tries by the 15th minute, ensuring it would only avoid South Africa in the quarterfinals if Italy beats Ireland on Sunday and does not concede two bonus points.

However in the second half the Russians, who were playing their last game at the tournament having lost all the previous ones, shut the door with a bang. Two tries by Denis Simplikevich and Konstantin Rachkov, a drop goal plus a first-half try by Vladimir Ostroushko, impressed even Australia’s captain.

“Overall, we’re happy to get the win,’‘ Australia captain James Horwill said afterwards. “At the back end, things didn’t go the way we wanted them to.

“We knew they’d come out with a very spirited performance, and they did that. That was the last game of their first World Cup, so we knew they’d be very spirited. Full credit to them, they’ve done their country very proud,” concluded Horwill.

In the other Saturday match, France lost 19-14 to Tonga but still reach reached quarterfinals.

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