Taulupe Faletau’s tournament-ending broken arm Super Star groin injury.

NANTES, France — Taulupe Faletau’s tournament-ending broken arm and Gareth Anscombe’s groin injury hampered Wales’ 43-19 triumph against Georgia at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.

Faletau was the only forward to start every Wales game in his third World Cup in France, and he left holding his arm. The loss of the No. 8 is a big setback for Wales’ aspirations in the quarterfinals next week.


“We felt he was starting to come back to his best,” said Wales coach Warren Gatland. “He was excellent last week (against Australia) in terms of his footwork, carrying, and stuff, taking kickoffs and also giving us some go-forward.” It’s a significant loss for us.”

“We’ll have to make a decision in terms of how we look at the balance of the back row going forward and in particular for next week.”

Anscombe was set to play at flyhalf against Georgia, but he injured his groin when kicking in warmups and had to withdraw. Gatland said the injury was high up, and additional information will be available in 48 hours. “He’s got a bit of power and stood on his leg which is a positive, it means it’s not come off the bone,” he went on to say.

However, Anscombe’s availability in a week is questionable, and Wales’ customary starting ten Dan Biggar was already nursing a pectoral muscle injury from a game against Australia two weeks ago. When Anscombe was injured, Sam Costelow took over at flyhalf, and Biggar was pushed to the bench, but he was the only reserve who did not play on Saturday.

Wales earned 19 points out of a potential 20 in pool play, securing a quarterfinal matchup against Argentina or Japan on Saturday in Marseille.

Wales simply needed a point to win Pool C, which they did with a fourth try in the 67th minute, ending a Georgia comeback from 24-7 to 24-19.

Georgia needed to score next and was building again after trailing 17-7 at halftime. But, in the 43rd minute, center Giorgi Kveseladze played first receiver and sent a pass to no one but North, who sent Rees-Zammit soaring away untouched.

With 11 starting from the historic first win against Wales last November, Georgia remained unfazed.


Wales’ soft penalties gave Georgia the opportunity to score twice in three minutes. Vano Karkadze, the replacement hooker, powered over, and wing Davit Niniashvili burnt the defense before finishing with a swan dive.


The Lelos were only down 24-19 when a game broke out with a quarter to go.


Wales, on the other hand, snuffed out the tension with consecutive tries finished by Rees-Zammit from a Williams chip ahead, then his own From 60 meters away, kick ahead. He dribbled the ball into the in-goal without applying downward pressure, yet the attempt is in the books.

“We need to get the ball in his hands a little bit more,” Gatland joked.

In between those Rees-Zammit tries, Niniashvili was enraged by a tackle over the sideline by Wales’ Taine Basham, and they got into a brawl that resulted in both of them being sent off for the rest of the game.


The game ended with Rees-Zammit setting up North’s try as Wales avenged a year ago’s humiliation by beating Georgia and returning to Nantes for the first time since 2007, when Wales was humiliated by Fiji and eliminated in the pool stage.


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