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Dan Biggar’s head did not explode: The Dragon Round Up

So, it didn’t quite happen.

Dan Biggar’s head did not explode.

But it was close at the end there, as the Wales outside-half sat in the stands of the Stade de Bordeaux and the ball was chucked out to Fiji’s Semi Radradra.

All the flying Fijian had to do was gather the ball on the bounce, run around behind the posts, and poor old Dan might have got even angrier than he was at half-time when he let rip at George North.

But Radradra fumbled – or rather, was unable to gather a pretty ropey pass, to be fair – and Dan’s brain stayed inside its casing.

Victory for Wales, in their opening match of the Rugby World Cup, 32-26. Job done. Move on.

Wales were close to a staggering 250 tackles in the game, and Biggar said: “It was absolutely exhausting. The last 10 minutes felt like the clock never moved.

“We put everything into it, Fiji came strong at the end, but I am really thrilled for this group of players that we managed to see it through because the work we’ve put in over the past few months has just been incredible.

“It puts us in such a good position in the group. I am just absolutely drained.”

Asked if he had his heart in his mouth during the closing stages, Wales coach Warren Gatland said: “Absolutely. With seven minutes to go I wondered about just going down to the changing rooms and waiting until the final whistle.

“I am absolutely delighted with the result. I think it is pretty significant for us. With 65 minutes on the clock we were comfortable, and we needed to control that. We gave away some unnecessary penalties, lost a little bit of composure.

“We’ve always been a team that builds on confidence and get better in tournaments. So that is exciting.

“I was pretty frustrated and angry about the last period of the game, but it’s about being honest and making sure we learn from it.

“I am delighted with the win, but we made it a lot harder for ourselves than we needed to, made some dumb decisions in the last 15 minutes.”

Captain Jac Morgan said: “We have that mentality of never giving up, always working hard for each other.

“We’ve been through a couple of camps with some tough training over the past couple of weeks, and it has really brought the boys close as you saw.”

“We made mistakes at critical moments, and we had to chase it at the end. It was a very good Welsh team.”

Fiji took two losing bonus points from the game, which might prove critical in terms of the group’s finishing places and race for a last-eight spot.

Head coach Simon Raiwalui said: “We had our opportunities. We weren’t clinical enough. There were a couple of disallowed tries, and we had a chance at the end.

“We weren’t clinical enough to finish off, and we move on to Australia next week.”

At the same time Wales’ rugby players were sweating it out in south-west France, the Wales footballers were giving a press conference in Riga, Latvia.

They play their crunch Euro 2024 European Championship qualifier on Monday night, needing to restore some belief after successive defeats in their group to Armenia and Turkey, in which Rob Page’s team conceded six goals.

“I think there’s a bit of a determination to not feel like we did after those previous two games,” said Burnley wing-back Connor Roberts, who is set to win his 50th cap at Riga’s Skonto Stadium.

“The only way to not feel like that is to win the game or to play well. It’s just remembering what got us to be performing well and to qualify for big competitions and to win games before.

“That is hard work and dedication, but I think we would be naive to think that we’re going to qualify for every single tournament going forward and win loads of games.

“We are still a small nation in the grand scheme of things. So we have to keep our feet on the ground and realise where we’ve come from.”

With the international break in full swing, both Cardiff City and Swansea City – Roberts’ former club – were not in action at the weekend.

That left the stage clear for Wrexham and Newport County to grab the spotlight with their fixtures in League Two.

Elliot Lee hit an 88th-minute winner for Wrexham to beat basement outfit Doncaster Rovers, 2-1 at the Racecourse Ground.

Luke Young broke the deadlock for the Reds, before Mo Faal levelled for Rovers, but Lee had the last word.

Perhaps even more noteworthy for Wrexham was the fact that key striker Paul Mullin returned from the punctured lung he suffered on the club’s pre-season tour of the USA.

Mullin came on after an hour, while there was also an appearance off the bench from the club’s new striker, veteran Scottish marksman, Steven Fletcher.

Wrexham have now climbed to seventh in the table – just inside the play-off positions – and manager Phil Parkinson said: “You could see the lift in the stadium when he (Mullin) came on.

“He has been a key player for us over the last couple of seasons and the incident in America was a real setback, you can’t deny that.”

Newport are back down to 14th after they were beaten 4-1 at Crawley Town, where Adam Campbell scored a double.

Newport manager Graham Coughlan admitted: “We didn’t turn up. They were better than us all day. We made too many mistakes, we just weren’t at it.

“They looked after the ball better than we did. We helped them along the way, let’s be honest. We made basic errors and weren’t ourselves. That’s not my team, that’s not us.”

Glamorgan’s hopes of promotion were thin ahead of their penultimate Division Two County Championship cricket match and they looked slimmer still after the weekend.

Victory against Yorkshire at Sophia Gardens is essential, but they were on the back foot on day one as Yorkshire made a formidable 330 for 3 on the first day of four.

Tykes captain Shan Masood hit an unbeaten on 113 and Finlay Bean struck 11 fours on his way to 93 on a slow pitch that offered little assistance for the bowling side.

Swansea Para rower Ben Pritchard took a bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade.

But Pritchard admitted to mixed feelings as he was hoping to upgrade his previous bronze to either silver or gold.

The Great Britain para rower collected a second successive bronze in the PR1 men’s single sculls.

It was an impressive display from Pritchard, given the 31-year-old had not raced this season due to injury.

But he said: “I think it’s a missed opportunity this year to move up the field.

“But given that I’ve only had 12 weeks training this season, it’s a worthwhile effort and we can build on it for next year.”

Jade Jones produced a stunning performance to beat former world champion Luo Zongshi in Paris to claim her second World Taekwondo Grand Prix final success of the year.

Wales’ revitalised double Olympic gold medallist defeated her Chinese opponent 2-0 in the final of the –57kg division, gaining a measure of revenge for last year’s world championship semi-final defeat.

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