This is why World Cup organisers wouldn’t let the minnows face Australia sooner. Australia 52 Fiji 0.
It took the rampant Kangaroos just 63 seconds to score their first try – and that was after they kicked the ball off.
The lead swelled to 16-0 after just nine minutes and the Fijians hadn’t touched the ball since dropping it on the second tackle of the game.
It is often said that time runs slower in the Pacific islands and this should have been the longest 80 minutes in history for the Fijians.
Strangely it wasn’t.
The Fijian fans celebrated from start to finish and provided the atmosphere among the crowd of 15,855.
They cheered every time their men touched the ball – which wasn’t often – and screamed in delight when Fiji’s brutal defence picked off a Kangaroo.
The 22 minutes between Australia’s fourth and fifth tries in the first half was like a grand final celebration for the Bati fans.
Everyone, including Aussie supporters, wanted a Fijian try but it never came.
Terrigal hooker Waisale Sukanaveita went closest in the 55th and 79th minutes but Australia’s party-poopers twice held him up.
For 46 minutes Fiji held Australia to just ten points.
But if the first 10 minutes were bad, the final 20 were horrific.
Johnathan Thurston scored three times between the 62nd and 72nd minutes and Greg Inglis defied gravity to score in the corner in the 77th minute.
Australia were clinical and ruthless. That was expected after they’d already dispatched New Zealand (30-4), England (52-4) and Papua New Guinea (46-6) in uncompromising style.
World Cup organisers had feared a scoreline like this but the final tally didn’t do Fiji justice as they battled valiantly.
They fielded a team boasting just 343 professional games between them, as opposed to Australia’s 2585, but gave as good as they got.
Australia had seven times the experience. Fiji had seven players they plucked from park football.
Bookmakers had given Fiji 50.5 points start in line betting and Australia only just got there.
Five tries in each half took Australia’s World Cup tally to 180 points with just 14 conceded in four games.
Australia have proven themselves a class above the rest of the world, but only a victory over New Zealand in the final next Saturday will have the Kangaroos crowned world champions.