September 21, 2019 / 6:38 AM / a month ago

Rugby-Australia weather Fijian storm to win World Cup opener

SAPPORO, Japan, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Twice champions Australia survived an almighty scare in their World Cup Pool D opener against Fiji on Saturday as they fought back from nine points down in the second half to run out 39-21 winners at the Sapporo Dome.

Tries from Peceli Yato and Waisea Nayacalevu helped the Fijians to a 21-12 lead just after the break as a misfiring Australia struggled to turn possession into points and looked to be heading for one of the great World Cup shocks.

However, the Wallabies seemed to sense the danger and suddenly found another gear, hooker Tolu Latu barging over twice in quick succession from driving mauls before Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete also went over to put the game away.

Australia, who also opened their 2015 World Cup campaign by beating Fiji in Cardiff, next play Wales in Tokyo on Sept. 29 while Fiji meet Uruguay on Wednesday. (Reporting by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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