by Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The Australian Wallabies kicked off their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 15-point win over Fiji in the early hours of this morning.
The ‘Pooper’ combination of Michael Hooper and David Pocock proved to be a force in the forwards, while Matt Giteau and World Cup debutant Israel Folau were superb in attack from the backline.
19 minutes into the first half, and Australia led 3-0 against the Oceania rugby champs. But the Fijian’s were quick to rebound with Nemani Nadolo kicking a penalty goal, after Australia was penalised.
Just minutes later, Australia’s flanker, who turned into a number 8 over-night, David Pocock would score the first of his two tries in what would become a man of the match performance.
Australia led 18-3 at half time, and registered another try just after the break thanks to Will Genia setting up a gift try for Seope Kepu.
Ben Volavola hit back scoring Fiji’s only try in the 59th minute, leaving the Aussies to play defensive rugby.
The Fijian’s attack placed the Aussies under enormous pressure, making it difficult to score their fourth try for a bonus point, which could ultimately prove decisive in terms of qualification for the finals.
“We haven’t thought about that (bonus points try), it’s not super rugby, this is the world cup,” said Wallabies coach, Michael Cheika.
“I thought it was a really good game. It was a really good work out. It was physical; we covered a lot of metres.”
Fijian captain Akapusi Qera said despite falling short against Australia, the team will focus on the positives for their next game against Wales on October 1.
“We just come short this afternoon, and that’s the fact.”
“We will go back and look at our mistakes and carry the positives to our Wales game.”