NEWS ARTICLES
Aus romp dampened by Mitchell injury blow
Reuters
October 01, 2011
Australia crushed Russia 68-22 to reach the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday but the victory was overshadowed by a hamstring injury to winger Drew Mitchell that appears likely to have ended his tournament.

The Wallabies join New Zealand and South Africa in the last eight and they might have to beat both their Tri-Nations rivals to reach the final if Ireland beat Italy on Sunday to finish top of Pool C.

Two-times champions Australia, who have only once before failed to qualify top of their pool, lead the group with 15 points ahead of Ireland, 13 and Italy on 10 ahead of their Dunedin showdown.

A quarterfinal against the Springboks looks likely but they could still win the pool to play either Wales or Fiji.

Australia's bonus-point victory was always going to be a formality but, having been forced to start with loose forward Radike Samo on the wing, Mitchell's hamstring problem is the last thing the Tri-Nations champions would have wanted.

They will be pleased with the sharpness shown in the first half as Berrick Barnes and Quade Cooper cut holes in some admittedly feeble defence to send their runners away while James O'Connor converted nine of the 10 tries.

After turning round 47-5 ahead, Australia lost momentum, and as rain made conditions difficult, Russia fought back with spirit to end their World Cup debut on a positive note.

ONE-WAY TRAFFIC

"Overall, we're happy to get the win but at the back end there things didn't really go the way we wanted," Australia captain James Horwill told reporters.

"We did what we needed to do and now we move on and just wait to see who we play next week."

The Wallabies hit the ground running and scored some lovely tries during 40 minutes of virtual one-way traffic.

Impressive flanker David Pocock scored two while hooker Stephen Moore finished off a cracker after a wonderfully visionary pass by Mitchell.

Mitchell added his second try after the break but then pulled up when going for what would have been his third and coach Robbie Deans said later that the injury "looks a bad one" for the winger, who suffered a horrific broken leg in April.

"It doesn't look good. It looks like it will end his tournament," Deans lamented.

"Drew is bitterly disappointed, the whole team is disappointed for him," Horwill added.

Barnes, who had a lively game starting at inside centre, ensured Australia finished on top when he intercepted to score his second try in the final minutes.

That was hard on Russia, who could barely make a tackle in the first half but were a different side after the break.

They dominated for long spells, played some creative rugby and ended the day with three tries by Vladamir Ostroushko, Denis Simplikevich and Konstantin Rachkova.

"It was amazing, we didn't get the best of starts and we struggled to keep our composure initially," Russia fullback Vasily Artemyev said.

"In the second half we had nothing to lose so we really tried to hold onto the ball and use our backs and score a few tries.

"We put a few things right and I think we deserved our tries."

Scorers
Australia -
Tries: Berrick Barnes (2), Drew Mitchell (2), Ben McCalman, David Pocock (2), Stephen Moore, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Salesi Ma'afu. Conversions: James O'Connor (9)
Russia - Tries: Vladimir Ostroushko, Denis Simplikevich, Konstantin Rachkov. Conversions: Rachkov (2). Drop Goal: Rachkov.

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
Absa Under 19 Competition
Friday, August 01 2014
13:45 - Blue Bulls U19 vs Free State U19
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
15:15 - Sharks U19 vs Golden Lions U19
Woodburn Stadium, Pmbg
Absa Under 21 Competition
15:30 - Blue Bulls U21 vs Free State U21
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
IRB Women's Rugby World Cup
15:45 - Australia vs South Africa
Marcoussis 1, Paris, France
Absa Under 21 Competition
17:00 - Sharks U21 vs Golden Lions U21
Woodburn Stadium, Pmbg
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Limpopo Boet Fick & Waterberg Leagues
20:00 - Potgietersrus vs Northam
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Border Super League
21:00 - Old Selbornians vs All Blacks
Kempston Park, East London
Absa Under 19 Competition
Saturday, August 02 2014
11:00 - Leopards U19 vs EP Kings U19
Profert Olen Park, Potch
Vodacom Super Rugby
11:40 - Waratahs vs Crusaders
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Absa Under 21 Competition
12:30 - Leopards U21 vs Border U21
Profert Olen Park, Potch

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