Bernard Foley put the Wallabies in front early with a penalty but mid-way through the first half, Nemani Nadolo levelled the score with one of his own.
Australia will effectively knock Fiji out of the Pool A running if they inflict a second defeat on the South Sea Islanders just five days after being beaten by England.
Yet when Glen Jackson sent Australian outside-centre Tevita Kuridrani to the sin-bin in the 73rd minute, Fiji could not capitalise.
“We’ll look at the Fiji game and see what we can take from that into Uruguay”.
Australia head coach Michael Cheika says that rocket science was not required in his decision to start both of the Wallabies’ brilliant openside flankers against World Cup opponents Fiji. “We’ve done that throughout our lead-up to this tournament and I believe it’s a good way to go”, he said, adding he identified improvements in Fiji’s set piece as one area the Wallabies coaching staff had focused on in preparations for the match. I preach to my team about being humble.
“I think it shows the great values that people have to have”, Cheika told reporters in Bath on Sunday.
Cheika was pleased with his team’s performance as they joined Wales and England with wins in Pool A. As he revealed before the tournament, he plans to make wholesale changes.
He then confirmed a three-year deal with Queensland Reds and his former NSW Waratahs mentor Cheika rushed him into the Wallabies squad for the second Bledisloe Cup match against the All Blacks on August 15, which Australia lost 41-13. Then you go to the next one.
Fiji had looked completely overwhelmed by the occasion following the opening ceremony on Friday, but this time they had no excuses.
By the half-hour though, Australia had pulled away as Pocock found his way over the line twice from the back of dominant and well-organised driving mauls.
Cheika wants to give all his players game-time before their Twickenham showdown with England on October 3 because he feels the hosts have an advantage when it comes to the fixture list.
“Getting over here, getting the jetlag out of our system and feeling the conditions, albeit we are under cover tomorrow”, said Larkham, speaking in the Millennium Stadium where he won the World Cup final with the Wallabies in 1999. He did his business in attack and his technical stuff well. “He worked very, very hard, himself and Hooper were good in their work-rate off the ball”.
“That’s our aim. These things don’t happen overnight, but we are heading in the right direction”, he said. “We needed to come to terms with that relatively quickly”.