Most of us know how the top sides did this November. But how did the Tier 2 sides get on?

Fiji (L 20-23 v Ireland, L 10-19 v Italy, W 57-17 v Canada)

Target: Wins over Italy and Canada, and a strong showing against Ireland.

Most important game: Ireland, which gave Fiji a chance to show their progress.

Verdict: A partially successful tour, Fiji showed defensive improvement and got the performance they were looking for against Ireland. They will be disappointed with the defeat to Italy though. B

Nemani Nadolo is so important to the Fijian cause.
Photo Michael Paler/
Japan (D 23-23 v France, L 30-63 Australia, W 39-6 Tonga)

Target: A win over Tonga and competitive performances against France and Australia.

Most important game: France, which gave Japan their best chance of an upset win.

Verdict: After an underwhelming performance against Australia, Japan rebounded to record an impressive win over Tonga. Only a missed conversion away from upsetting the French, Japan can be very happy with their November results overall. A

Georgia (L 6-13 v Wales, W 21-20 v USA, W 54-22 v Canada)

Target: Wins over USA and Canada, and a strong performance against Wales.

Most important game: Wales, which gave Georgia a chance to stake their 6 Nations claims.

Verdict: A controversial game against Wales could easily have ended in a draw. Wins in the other games mean Georgia met their November targets.

Romania (W 17-13 v Samoa, L 20-25 v Tonga)

Target: A win over Samoa as a minimum, although Romania had hoped to win both games.

Most important game: Samoa, as they are likely to be in the same World Cup pool.

Verdict: Two close games could have gone either way. Romania managed to beat their likely World Cup Pool A opponents, but will be disappointed not to beat Tonga at home. B

Tonga (L 6-39 v Japan, W 25-20 v Romania)

Target: Beat Romania, push Japan all the way.

Most important game: Japan, as they along with Fiji have been the strongest of the Tier 2 countries for some time now. Tonga would like to take their place.

Verdict: A very disappointing result against a Japan team full of Super Rugby players, but at least they managed to defeat Romania. B-

Siale Piutau.
Photo: Justin Arthur /
Samoa (L 13-17 v Romania, L 14-48 v England, L 38-44 v Scotland)

Target: Beat Romania, push Scotland close and give England a scare.

Most important game: Romania, as they are likely World Cup Pool A opponents.

Verdict: Samoa will be happy with their performances in the higher profile games against Scotland and England, where they never gave up and gave a good account of themselves. They will be very disappointed to lose in Bucharest though. B

USA (L 20-21 v Georgia, W 46-17 v Germany)

Target: 2 wins

Most important game: Georgia, as they needed to test themselves against stronger opposition.

Verdict: USA have improved a lot in recent years, and would have hoped to beat Georgia even away from home. They got close, but it wasn’t to be. A comfortable win over Germany was expected. B+

Canada (L 22-54 v Georgia, W 37-27 v Spain)

Target: Beat Spain and push Georgia close in Tiblisi.

Most important game: Georgia, as, like the USA, they need more games against stronger opposition.

Verdict: Canada have fallen down the world rankings of late. Their performances were unfortunately in keeping with this reduced status. C


Author: Daniel Pugsley

I am a 31 year old from Yorkshire, England. I have played social rugby for 25 years in England, Japan, Italy, Poland and the UAE. I teach English as a foreign language, which explains why I’ve lived in so many places. I recently moved back to England and have had to take a break from playing, but I hope to pull on the boots again soon.


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