By Ian RansomOITA, Japan (Reuters) – Winger Josh Adams grabbed a hat-trick of tries as a battered and bruised Wales battled to a 29-17 bonus-point win over Fiji yesterday to book their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.In a frenzied clash under the roof at Oita Stadium, the Fijians gave the Six Nations champions a real scare, surging into 17-14 lead early in the second half of the Pool D with a penalty try.That revived memories of the ‘Nightmare in Nantes’ when the Pacific islanders knocked Wales out of the 2007 World Cup. Adams, however, steadied the ship with his hat-trick try on the hour-mark and fullback Liam Williams crossed 12 minutes from the siren to settle the game.Wales ended the game with concerns over talismanic flyhalf Dan Biggar, sidelined with a head injury for a second time in the tournament and who was quickly ruled out of the team’s final pool game. “We probably started a little slowly out of the box, we knew that if Fiji got their tails up we were going to be in for a hard day at the office,” said Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones. “But credit to Fiji, we saw the best of them at times today. We did the job today but plenty to work on.” The result ensured Wales, with 14 points, leapfrogged Australia (11 points) to top the pool ahead of their final game against Uruguay. Fiji were eliminated after losing earlier matches to Australia and Uruguay.“I’m so proud of the effort our boys put in this evening,” Fiji coach John McKee told reporters.“They’re playing a Six Nations champion team that’s been number one in the world this year and they really took the game to them. Although we didn’t get here in the end, it was an absolute gallant effort all round.”Wales, with England or France awaiting them in the quarter-finals, are also monitoring Adams and key centre Jonathan Davies after they also suffered injuries. Wales, rejuvenated after a 10-day break, were looking for a fast start but instead it was Fiji charging out of the blocks, spreading the ball wide from an attacking scrum to winger Josua Tuisova, who bashed through Adams and Biggar to score in the right corner.Wales responded immediately only for backrower Josh Navidi’s score after a turnover to be ruled out by the TMO due to a knock-on. Fiji, too, thought they had scored moments later but scrumhalf Frank Lomani’s effort was also scratched by the TMO.The early drama continued when Wales hooker Ken Owens was yellow-carded in the eighth minute for a flip-tackle on number eight Viliame Mata and barnstorming Semi Radradra, the player-of-the-match, made Wales pay at once, setting up a try for fullback Kini Murimurivalu in the right corner to make it 10-0.Fiji’s numerical advantage did not last long as lock Tevita Cavubati was also yellow-carded for a shoulder charge in the 17th minute and now Biggar responded with a sumptuous cross-kick to Adams. Fiji’s scrambling defence was soon on the brink of collapse as Wales upped the tempo and flanker Semi Kunatani earned the third yellow card of the first half after a string of Fijian offsides.Soon after, Adams strolled over for his second five-pointer as the Welsh sliced open Fiji’s threadbare right flank.BIGGAR WORRY Fiji were fortunate to trail by just 14-10 at the break but blew a chance to retake the lead in the 49th minute with another forward pass disallowing a try for Radradra. The game threatened to turn on its head minutes later as James Davies was yellow-carded for a ruck infringement. Fiji kicked for the corner, rumbled a lineout drive to the line and were awarded a penalty try after Wales collapsed the maul.Liam Williams then clattered into Biggar as both attempted to catch a clearing kick. After several minutes of medical attention, Biggar groggily got to his feet and jogged off.Soon after, however, Adams had his hat-trick, again at the corner, before scrumhalf Gareth Davies cantered through a hole to set up Williams for the sealing try.
Before competing in their first dual match on Thursday, the USC women’s tennis team got in important tournament action last weekend.Reach · Senior Sarah Fansler helped prepare for the season. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information While other team members were competing at the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas, sophomore Alison Ramos, freshman Danielle Lao and juniors Maria Sanchez and Lyndsay Kinstler participated in the National Collegiate Tennis Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.To kick off their spring season, nationally ranked No. 8 Sanchez led the way for USC in her single’s play, making it all the way to the final round. At last year’s NCTC, Sanchez was the singles semifinalist and the No. 2 seed.With a bye in the round of 16, Sanchez then defeated UCLA’s Andrea Remynse in a comeback three set match (4-6, 6-2, 6-0) to land a spot in the semifinal round. There she put away Stanford’s Lindsay Burdette (6-3, 6-3).The sixth-seeded Alison Ramos of USC followed up a Round 16 three-set win by upsetting the No. 3 seed Maria Mosolova of Northwestern in the quarterfinals (6-0, 6-1). Later in the semifinals, Ramos fell to Stanford’s Hilary Barte.This left Barte and Sanchez for the final round. In a tight first set, Barte took the singles title, defeating Sanchez 7-5, 6-2. Before taking the singles championship, Barte also ousted another Woman of Troy along the way. Barte took down freshmen Danielle Lao in the quarterfinals (6-3, 6-2). Kinstler lost early in the first round.In the doubles scene, Ramos and Lao teamed up but were defeated in the semifinal round to UCLA’s Andrea Remynse and Yasmin Schnack (8-3). Kinstler and Sanchez were also ousted in the semifinal round to Stanford’s Barte and Mallory Burdette. Barte and Burdette later took home the doubles championship.At the UNLV tournament, junior Cristala Andrews, a Las Vegas native, made it to the consolation finals. After Andrews lost in a tough first round (6-7, 4-6) to Florida’s Anastasia Revzina, she regained her momentum in the consolation rounds. In the final round of consolation play, Andrews lost in three sets to UNC’s Shinann Featherston (2-6, 6-0, 2-6). Both freshman Valeria Pulido and junior Leyla Entekhabi won one and lost two matches during their singles play.In doubles, Andrews and Entekhabi were defeated early in the first round.Overall, Sanchez believes it was a good weekend for her team. “It went well for being the first tournament back,” she said. “I think as we continue to play matches, we will get more and more in a grove and into the swing of things.”The Women of Troy open their dual season on Thursday, hosting Long Beach State at 1:30 p.m.
Marcus Smart tries to draw the charge on Giannis. Was he still in the restricted area, though? (via @ESPN) pic.twitter.com/fzalEI0OyW— Brady Gardner (@BradyDGardner) August 1, 2020The three-point play gave Milwaukee a three-point lead, and the East’s top team went on to win its Florida bubble opener.MORE: NBA playoff bracketSmart wasn’t buying the reason for the overturn.”The excuse was I was late on the charge,” Smart said. “They said the (NBA) Replay Center said I was late and it was a block. Quite frankly, I think we all know what that was about: Giannis had six fouls and they didn’t want to get him out. Just call that spade a spade and that’s just what it is.””I think we all know what that was about… Giannis has 6 fouls. They don’t want to get him out.”Marcus Smart discusses his foul at the end of the 4th quarter. #Celtics pic.twitter.com/57LZysT7oJ— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 1, 2020A minute before that review, Antetokounmpo was spared a DQ after appearing to strike Daniel Theis below the belt. The officials ruled after a review that he didn’t commit a hostile act. The Bucks had their MVP on the floor in crunch time Friday night against the Celtics. One Celtics player said the referees wanted it that way and acted accordingly.Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was playing with five fouls when he jumped into Boston’s Marcus Smart in the lane in the fourth quarter. Antetokounmpo was first called for a charge that would have sent him the bench, only for the call to be changed to a block and an and-one on video review. Giannis had 7 fouls. First one, hits Theis in the groin/stomach, ref stops play, looks it over, and doesn’t call it a foul. A minute later, Smart takes a charge on Giannis, refs look it over and overturned it for an and one🙃🤦🏻♂️ great game, but momentum changed after these calls. pic.twitter.com/EAkgbmNdjE— Isaac Potter (@impotter14) August 1, 2020Officiating crew chief James Capers told a pool reporter that the contact was incidental and thus not a foul. He also said video showed Antetokounmpo’s hand touched Theis on the belt line, not in the groin.NBA Referee James Capers Comments to a pool reporter after tonight’s Celtics-Bucks game: pic.twitter.com/vbIPwg7ZOa— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) August 1, 2020It must be noted that one of Antetokounmpo’s called fouls was this offensive foul that Smart sold earlier in the game.Marcus Smart pretends Giannis kicked him in the nuts to get the call pic.twitter.com/WoOsRwhz9G— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) August 1, 2020But Smart and the Celtics, obviously, aren’t going to cop to that. They just think Giannis got premeditated preferential treatment from the league when it mattered.