Fijian flyer Semi Radradra has endured a horror moment in the final seconds of the Rugby World Cup clash against Wales when he could have secured the win after the 80th minute. The former NRL winger was a star at the previous World Cup and had the opportunity to write his name in folklore with seconds to go against Wales.
In what would have been one of rugby's all-time great comebacks, Fiji were 32-14 down but managed to fight back and give themselves a chance at 32-26. And having held onto the ball in Wales territory, the clock ticked past the allotted 80 minutes with Fiji in control and attacking the try line.
And in the 81st minute, Fiji were hammering the Welsh defence on the line before the ball was pushed wide. In a last-ditch effort, the ball was passed to the wing of Radradra who was unmarked.
While the Fijian winger was unmarked, the pass fell short and bounced towards Radradra. And potentially with one-eye on the defence closing the gap, the centre dropped the ball to end the game and end Fiji's chances of a historic victory.
Radrada sunk to the ground after the knock-on knowing the opportunity had slipped away. With the clash being played in 30C heat, the Welsh players also collapsed after the final whistle. In a classy move, Welsh fullback Liam Williams went over to Radradra to console the Fijian.
Rugby fans were left devastated for Radradra and Fiji as they came so close to toppling Wales in their first group stage game.
What a game.
Fiji could have won by about 20 points, two dropped over the line and Radradra dropping that at the end. Will have a lot of regrets and will feel hard done by.
Biggar, Morgan superb. Well done Wales #WALvFIJ
— Rhys Ruddock All Stars Fan (@GifsRugbyNStuff) September 10, 2023
Wales and Fiji contributed to a classic, in spite of abject officiating
Their efforts deserved better than that final knock-on from Radradra#RWC2023
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) September 10, 2023
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) September 10, 2023
If there was one person you wanted that pass to go to..it will have been Radradra. Wow cant believe it. But what a match. Best of the #RWC23 so far
— PV (@PV217Bokke) September 10, 2023
I’m still heartbroken 💔 for Radradra
— Ospreys (@Smalzz_) September 11, 2023
Despite the brutal moment to end the game, Radradra enjoyed another strong start to the World Cup having set-up a try and helped Fiji storm back into the match. The game was arguably the match of the round with Fiji still looking to advance from the group.
Wales win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Wales winning is a huge victory in a showdown for the top two spots between themselves, Fiji and the Wallabies. During the match, Dan Biggar kicked 12 points to become Wales' all-time Rugby World Cup leading points scorer.
After the game, Wales captain Jac Morgan was full of praise for the pacific island team. “We made it difficult for ourselves, full praise to Fiji they were excellent, every time they attacked us they caused us problems,” he told Welsh language broadcaster S4C.
“Our discipline let us down, it allowed them to get into our half and put pressure on us. The victory means a lot to us.” Each team scored four-tries each, but the kicking of Biggar was the difference in the contest. The Wallabies will have their hands full in both the group stage encounters with Fiji and Wales.
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