Australia 28 – 13 Fiji
The second match of the day where a Tier 1 team play their first match, while the Tier 2 team has a short turn around. Go figure.
My first impression was that the Aussies were looking pretty sharp. The passes were long and fast in front of the runner. David Pocock was making the pinch at breakdown. Israel Folau was running with pace and grace and guile.
But then look closer: the Fijians were fairly dismal. Maybe it’s the turnaround, but they just weren’t playing to any pattern.
The Aussies got two tries in the first half. To David Pocock. From driving mauls.
Their next try at the start of the second half was nicely constructed, and you thought, here we go. After burners.
But then their lineout fell apart, and the Fijian first-five skipped through a sloppy defensive line for a try under the posts, and crash and bash, and not much more.
The Aussie tight five just do not look the business. Bernard Foley does not look the business. Folau and Giteau and Ashley-Cooper are all class, and all for nothing if they don’t get go forward ball.
If England and Wales can dominate up front, these Wallabies will struggle.