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.