Then you go to the next one. “It’s the World Cup and it will be tough every game and we will have to earn everything we get”. “I’m just really looking forward to it, they’re going to be up for it now”, Cheika said, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Ranked second the world, the Wallabies will go into the clash as favourites on paper, and Larkham believes the team is well prepared having analysed Fiji’s performance against England on Friday.
The ploy of playing David Pocock and Michael Hooper in the back row worked again, with the latter ruthless in the way he brought ball-carriers down.
“I see two quite different styles of games and it will be very interesting”, McKee said of the 3 October contest, which is set to have a huge bearing on who progresses from Pool A.
They have started just one previous match together for Australia, in Sydney last month, and that resulted in a first victory over New Zealand for four years.
That last one might not be true, but it’s certainly the impression you got listening to the Wallabies talk.
The game started to open up and Fiji threw the kitchen sink at the Wallabies but Foley ended their slim hopes of a comeback with his third penalty ten minutes from time.
Asked if he was frustrated that the Wallabies missed out on a bonus point, Cheika said: “No, we haven’t thought about that”.
So while Fiji arrived in Cardiff battle-hardened but potentially sore from a 35-11 loss to England at Twickenham, the Australians were fresh and buoyed from winning the Rugby Championship this year.
But despite Sekope Kepu crossing early in the second-half, it was Fiji who finished the stronger to deny Australia a bonus point that could prove telling come the end of the pool stage. “We’ll look now to push that to another level”. We need to enjoy it as well, because that is when we express ourselves most.
“I think we were very pleased to have a win in our first game”, he said.
Fiji were inspired by watching Japan beat South Africa in their opening game.
“For us to play some very good rugby and come away with no points is disappointing”.
The short turnaround means it’s unlikely Slipper will be able to complete all return to play protocols in time to be on the field in Birmingham on Sunday, opening the door for Toby Smith to make his World Cup debut.
“That’s our aim. These things don’t happen overnight, but we are heading in the right direction”, he said. “But there are so many potent players in that backline that if we can create, I’m sure we can finish better”.