Fiji join Wallabies in WC Pool
WORLD CUP 2019 SPOTLIGHT: Fiji have become the second nation to emerge from the World Cup 2019 qualifying process after a 14-10 victory over Tonga in Nuku'alofa on Saturday.
The win means that they are confirmed as the Oceania 1 qualifier and will join Australia, Wales, Georgia and the Americas 2 qualifier (Canada or Uruguay) in Pool D at Japan 2019.
The Oceania 2 qualifier will be confirmed next weekend after the final match of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2017 between Fiji and Samoa in Apia.
The World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) across 2016 and 2017 is the vehicle by which the Oceania qualifiers are determined and Fiji's win gives them 12 points, putting them out of reach of Tonga and Samoa on six and five points respectively.
Samoa must therefore get something out of their meeting with Fiji if they are to beat Tonga to the Oceania 2 place and avoid a battle with a European team and potentially also the repechage to qualify.
Samoa's points difference is significantly better (+31) than the 'Ikale Tahi's if they were to both finish with six competition points across the two editions of the Pacific Nations Cup.
Tonga, with the losing bonus point picked up against Fiji, top the Pacific Nations Cup 2017 standings after their 30-26 win over Samoa last weekend, albeit only by a single point from their conquerors. Fiji play Samoa next weekend in the last 2017 PNC match in Apia.