by Ciarán Duffy
Cook Islands 9 – 13 Tahiti
Tahiti pulled off an upset to remain in contention to qualify for the World Cup. They were ranked 43 places below the Cook Islands, but started the brighter, taking the lead in the second minute when fly-half Andoni Jimenez kicked a penalty. The Cook Islands equalized with a penalty of their own from centre Jamian Iroa. It remained level until the 30th minute when winger Vincent Perez got a try. It was a disastrous phase of play for Cook Islands as they went down to 14, their fly-half Greg Mullany going to the sin bin. The Cook Islands would take the lead with two more penalties from Iroa. It was Tajiti that would go in at halftime in front when scrum-half Guilliaume Brouqui got their second try of the game.
That would be it for the scoring but there would be five yellow cards shown in the second half. Both sides had a player sent off, Tahiti lost prop Martin Taeae and Cook Islands lost centre Samuela Longo Leuta.
Tahiti will now compete in a two-legged playoff for a place in the repechage. They will face the winner of the 2018 Asia Rugby Championship, which will be contested between Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea.
Senegal are out of contention to qualify for the World Cup. They were relegated from the Rugby Africa Gold Cup, finishing last after being beaten by Tunisia 26 – 18. You can read the roundup of the final round of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup here.
Ciarán Duffy (@TheVoiceDepth) is a Leinster supporter and self-proclaimed ‘big cheese’ of Post To Post (@PostToPostSport). He’ll write about anything rugby under the condition he gets to take it too seriously.
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