Catch up with Sam Warburton


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Dafydd Howells scores quickest try ever?


George Pisi hit makes Shane Geraghty ill


Barbarians too good for England XV


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Wallabies cruise to victory over Fiji in Canberra

The Wallabies cruise to victory over Fiji in Canberra

The Wallabies put a slow start behind them as they picked up a gear in the second half to outclass Fiji with a 49-3 win in Canberra. The Wallabies gave starts to five new players, who repaid the faith by turning it on later in the game.

The last time Australia lost to Fiji was in 1954, so the odds on favourites knew that theyd just need to click as a unit and the game would be theirs, despite the fighting talk from the Fijians earlier in the week.

Fiji, a tiny country with naturally gifted athletes, have to cope with the majority of their players being based in France and the UK, which proves to be a logistical nightmare at times. They fielded a decent side though, and had the much talked about Rupeni Caucau back in their ranks.

It was a scrappy first half that ended 14-3 to the Wallabies, but the hosts gelled better in the second, where they scored seven tries and managed to hold off the Fijian attack.

"The second half was great - it was the 80 minutes we had to have basically," said coach Robbie Deans.

"Adjusting to test rugby, getting some cohesion within the group, adjusting to the conditions, getting our body position down because test rugby is different from Super 14.

"The boys worked their way through the challenges they had really well and we started to play some good rugby in the second half - a lot more composed, a lot more direct.

"We go into a test match next week against the English where we know it's going to be for real. And we're much better for that outing without a doubt," Deans added.

They did however lose prop Ben Alexander to a knee injury which was apparently a grade two medial ligament tear, meaning hell play no part in their upcoming Test matches against England and Ireland.


Time: 05:00

Posted at 12:20 pm | 53 comments

Viewing 53 comments

Leeners93 June 06, 2010 11:01 am

my first first!!!!

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 11:03 am

Very Impressive!

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Tom June 06, 2010 11:03 am

Wow, Fiji got shat on from above.
Still, am always impressed that a country with a population 1/50th the size of other rugby-playing nations manages to put out a squad to make a decent challenges (most of the time).

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Leeners93 June 06, 2010 11:12 am

ausralia really seem to be coming good at the right time.with the world cup only a year away,and all these exciting new talents(cooper,beale,etc),they look like thet could be very strong contenders,if they can get the team to gel

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seagull June 06, 2010 11:39 am

Who's the aussie no.3 who took that punch without blinking?

I read that the aussies are missing all their first choice front row? Does that put questions marks over their scrum again?

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 11:47 am

Quade is good...

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Bazza June 06, 2010 12:05 pm

"I read that the aussies are missing all their first choice front row? Does that put questions marks over their scrum again?"

It will be interesting because Deans is refusing to recall Baxter or Dunning to the Test side and the Reds frontrow held up well during the Super 14. It will be interesting to see how they perform against England, and the barbarians game on Tuesday has most of the Test frontrow anyway so we'll now then.

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cp85 June 06, 2010 12:14 pm

'Quade is good...'

haha, he was incredible the whole game. Would have liked to see more of Caucau but the fiji fly half wasn't really up to much and caucau hardly saw the ball.

Heard he might be going to the Brumbies next season... another Rupeni rumour?

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#3 June 06, 2010 2:10 pm

It was a rusty first half but that was expected. This is going to be a great season of test Rugby for the Wallabies. You heard it here first.

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 2:19 pm

awww man, 11th?? really?

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 2:38 pm

the Australian back line is magical

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 3:04 pm

The Aussies are going to be very good come world cup time.

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Ryan June 06, 2010 3:38 pm

RD, any chance you could put a video together of the 3 massive hits Matt Giteau copped during the game? 23rd minute, another one sometime in the first half, and then the third came off the ball in the 39th minute (which Fijis 12 was subsequently suspended for today)... Giteau was awesome to get up and not break anything after each one of them!

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 3:46 pm

Quade Cooper 'robbed' the fiji's

well he is experienced at robbing so im not suprised....

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sebastian June 06, 2010 4:11 pm

thanks mr. deans of not recalling matt dunning, rather lose an unimportent game due to some inexperienced frontrowers

rob horne in gold and green is a delight to see

hope the aussies can build the right mindset and not just a team with awesome players

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 5:37 pm

The Australia jersey is horrendous. Urgh.

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 6:04 pm

I read that the Fijian were palying and having good result but couldn't score the points. I'd liked to watch some of their runs!!

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Les Bleus June 06, 2010 7:27 pm

Tom,

Don't forget they have a population of nearly a million, so not that small.

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jackohos June 06, 2010 9:07 pm

The Fijians were never going to win this game. But going into the game with a Sevens specialist who can't pass off his left at 9 is never a good plan.

While you want them to play with the flair they're famous for, a little structure from Little and Rauluni would've really helped.

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 9:25 pm

though this is only a highlight package, those young Aussie backs are looking classy. WIll be a good side for 2011.

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Chris M June 06, 2010 10:41 pm

Good win for the Wallabies, but i think it's outrageous that the smaller nations such as Fiji can't call up players from Europe when the domestic season is over! This was most definitely a second choice team, had they had the likes of Qera, Little, Rabeni, Nalaga, Nacewa, Lovabalavu, they would have been more than a match for the Wallabies. I think it's disgraceful that just because they lack the funding and influence they are subject to these silly laws.

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granite June 06, 2010 10:59 pm

Fiji definitely their flair going in the first half and were unlucky not to score a try on a few occasions (knock ons, penalties, etc.).

Was glad to see Digby Ioane and Adam Ashley-Cooper on the wing, I'm a huge fan of both.

Still not sure about Quade at 10 and Giteau 12. One of the better tries came from when Giteau got the ball first and fed Quade...

The wallaby no. 3 was Solesi Mafu, who's brother was actually the opposing prop for Fiji! Don't think it was his bro that hit him, though.

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Nath June 06, 2010 11:16 pm

'Don't forget they have a population of nearly a million, so not that small.'

Les Bleus, on average, 1 man to 1 women, so divide that by 2 its 500,000

then from that you have a window of 20-30 years old.....

so say thats perhaps a quarter (at most)= 125,000

Then that gives you a choice of 30 odd men out of 125,000 assuming that the 125,000 are all fit and healthy and not couch potatoes.....

I wouldnt say thats many to pick from....compared to other nations...

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michael June 06, 2010 11:26 pm

As a neutral I'm surprised that anyone is talking about Fiji "flair" nearly getting results and wanting to see more of "their runs". In the first half they kept in the game with repeated kick-and-chase and only got close a couple of times. In the second half the Aussies completely outclassed them and put together many movements full of flair and skill. I also think it's a pity that Fiji cannot always have their best players available, but make no mistake, this was a demolition.

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Anonymous June 06, 2010 11:34 pm

Nath

good point.. then you look at tonga and samoa.. tonga has a total of about 105,000 and samoa at 180,000..

these three nations have very few to pick from as opposed to the nations they play.. i bet australia has a larger PLAYING population than samoa and tonga's TOTAL population combined.

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Joost June 06, 2010 11:58 pm

I think the score was mainly because Fiji placed a heavily alternative side.

Imagine these first string team: Satala, Qera and Koiamaibole in the back row, Rauluni, Little, Nalaga, Bai, Bobo, Naquelevuki and Nacewa in the backs.

I bet the sore would have been a lot different.

Indiscipline cost the Fjians dear... they conceded 13 penalties and 2 yellows (one for punching) and you just can't do that against a big team!

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Juggernauter June 07, 2010 12:02 am

What a game from Nathan Sharpe, Quade Cooper and Digby Ioane!

Cooper added inside balls and touches of magic every time he touched the ball and Ioane (even with his freak running style) proved a major threat in attack, with lots of pace and stepping.

Anybody noticed the Wallabies players seem to spend too much time on the gym? They all look very, very bulked up.

BTW, what on earth were those boots Ioane, Brown, Cooper and Beale wore? They looked like slippers!

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Anonymous June 07, 2010 12:05 am

Yeah, the backs are looking good against Fiji. Well done? Wow! I can't believe some retards are reading into this game.

Just a reminder, it was 7-3 just before the 39th minute, nothing to brag about you stupid convicts.

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Anonymous June 07, 2010 12:06 am

This scoreline resembles the Bulls v Brumbies this year. HAHA!!

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elsom is the man June 07, 2010 12:21 am

HOW ABOUT ELSOM'S JUMP INTO THE TACKLE ON THE LINE? That was fucking awesome! He got penalized for it, but it looked so sick, jumps over one guy only to land perfectly into a tackle from another Fijian who put him on his ass. Great stuff.

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Anonymous June 07, 2010 12:59 am

What's with the empty stadium. It's funny how SH fans thinks rugby is far more entertaining down south yet rugby is loosing popularity every year, while it's just getting more popular up North.

I've been living in New Zealand for the last year and I was shocked to find most Kiwis were sick of Rugby.

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Anonymous June 07, 2010 12:59 am

Rugby, forever going backwards. We have to rely on tiny countries like Fiji to put out sides that can compete, it's rarely going to happen. More of the major nations need to start playing rugby.

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Anonymous June 07, 2010 1:06 am

"Rugby, forever going backwards. We have to rely on tiny countries like Fiji to put out sides that can compete, it's rarely going to happen. More of the major nations need to start playing rugby."

Speak for yourself Rugby in Europe has never been more popular.

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Nicko June 07, 2010 3:17 am

Whoever coaches the Fijian backline should be shot.. Iv never seen a worse game plan.

What happened to Fijian running rugby...? whats the point of getting cau cau involved if they don't use him!??

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Tim June 07, 2010 3:17 am

In Australia, there's many sports to watch.
Rugby union is less popular than AFL and Rugby league and about as popular as soccer. They all have pro leagues and national teams (even AFL), so rugby struggles to compete.
The other thing is this game was played in Canberra, not a big place, and against a team everyonw knew was going to get the crap kicked out of them.
It was really a training run for Australia.

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Anonymous June 07, 2010 3:41 am

^^^ Rugby is the fourth sport in Ireland, behind GAA, Hurling and Soccer yet we still manage to pack out the stadiums and our popultion is far smaller than Australia's.

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Ben K June 07, 2010 5:14 am

Anonymous said...
Wow! I can't believe some retards are reading into this game. Just a reminder, it was 7-3 just before the 39th minute, nothing to brag about you stupid convicts.

Obviously not all these comments are aussies, just people giving their opinion on a one-sided game. I don't see much bragging, it's just people saying what they saw and who played well. Your comment is the stupid one.
And a warm up against a weakened Fiji in Canberra was never going to get a big crowd.

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Chris Boy June 07, 2010 12:58 pm

why doesn't anyone ever comment on population when the wallabies play england? england has 3 times the population of aus and a higher percentage of that play rugby union than in aus. i think it's remarkable how good aus are at rugby and sports in general given the relatively small population and the number of sports which aus does well in.

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granite June 07, 2010 11:39 pm

Regarding the size of the crowd, just over 15,000 was the official count. I've seen at least 1 article arguing Canberra shouldn't host a test next year.

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islandstylin' June 08, 2010 12:56 am

I remember bringing up population size and density being a big factor on why NZ/Aus games aren't always packed. But the geniuses here think population has nothing to do with attendance!! Go figure?

The subject about attendance has been beaten to death. NH fans think attendance numbers equal skills off players on the field. There is no convincing otherwise.

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(u-p)rick June 08, 2010 1:13 am

'The subject about attendance has been beaten to death. NH fans think attendance numbers equal skills off players on the field. There is no convincing otherwise.'

Oh and where is the evidence of that? I dont think that at all....in fact i was about to comment saying im sure most fijians wouldnt travel to this match due to it being rather one sided, and most aussie fans probably would rather spend their money on a ticket to a bigger game....but your comment is ridiculously one eyed and makes me want to stoop to your level!

But i shall not feed the troll!

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Anonymous June 08, 2010 1:43 am

NH fans, just look at the Bulls playing in Soweto to see how healthy rugby is.

Soweto is a dangerous place yet the 40k seater was sold out within a couple of hours.

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Anonymous June 08, 2010 1:53 am

^^^South Africa is fine, but rugby in Australia and New Zealand is in massive decline.

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Juggernauter June 08, 2010 3:01 am

To all the idiots who keep saying how low is rugby union nowadays:
GO TO YOUR RUGBY LEAGUE, FOOTBALL, AUSSIE RULES, GAELIC FOOTBALL OR BALLET FORUMS to make yourselves heard! Otherwise stop whining in a real men's blog! We all post here 'cause we love rugby union so stop throwing shit to our beloved sport!

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islandstylin' June 08, 2010 5:15 am

"Oh and where is the evidence of that?"

I've been coming to this site for many many years now and every year the super14 highlights are posted there are always NH fans saying super14 sucks because the attendance is low. If you want evidence you can go look through this sight for yourself.

To say the skill-level of SH players are inferior to NH because of the number of people in the stands isn't one eyed??

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Anonymous June 08, 2010 5:33 am

The Australia forwards were a dissapointment. I was surprised how the Fijian forwards stood up to them. Apart from the lineouts, it was pretty even in the pack. The Australian backs were dominant, Fijians really need to get their SH & FH sorted.

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Jim June 08, 2010 7:42 am

NH supporters are sometimes really bitter about SH rugby.
Some love to talk about attendances not being high (even though S14 gets higher average attendances than any club comp in Europe), others love to say defences are soft (even though this is never reflected at international level - the opposite in fact - SH teams are generally more physical than NH teams and concede fewer points), and others seem to want rugby to struggle in Australia and NZ.
It's all just because they keep losing so consistently, it must be tough for them to deal with.
So they don't focus on scores or games won and lost, they talk about how Euro rugby has more 'intensity' (funny how it's so much slower) or how there's better 'atmosphere' at games (cold comfort if you keep losing).

Then again, it's not all of them, just a bitter few.

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RD June 08, 2010 4:07 pm

@ Ryan - Thanks for the note about the times, appreciated. In future please drop me an email or post it in the Requests section though to make sure I get it. Cheers!

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(u-p)rick June 08, 2010 6:50 pm

Islandstylin' I too have come on here for many years, and whilst i will agree there is banter about super14, which is probably down to a couple 12 year olds, i have never see anyone try and justify that:

'To say the skill-level of SH players are inferior to NH because of the number of people in the stands isn't one eyed??'

People may say super 14 sucks, and that is their opinion, that does not say a thing about skill level, it merely says it sucks....I could say Matt Dunning is a fat fucker....that isnt the same thing as saying he cant play rugby....

So when someone says super 14 sucks because the crowds arent big, it does have anything to do with skill....

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PDV wears tutus June 08, 2010 11:06 pm

It's also wrong, because the S14 has higher attendances than any club comp in Europe.
It's funny when the HC only gets a 15,000 average attendance and the S14 gets 20,000 on average and Europeans critisize crowds.
Pot. Kettle. Black.

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Ryan June 09, 2010 7:20 am

no worries will do RD... Thanks for uploading the video!

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Anonymous June 09, 2010 8:41 pm

who the titties is the no.14 for australia?

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Anonymous June 09, 2010 11:33 pm

Digby Ioane

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