A slow start characterised by a lack of rhythm and some ill-discipline led no real chances developing for Australia in the early stages.
It wasn’t until the 25th minute, when David Pocock went over for the first of his two tries that Australia settled into the game, managing to go in at half time 18-3 ahead.
An early try in the second half extended the Australian’s lead and it seemed they would push on.
After seeing England run in four tries against the Fijians Australia must have hoped to secure the bonus point but they fell short and the Fijians battled back into the game with Volavola going over for a try after throwing an unbelievable dummy.
And it was the Fijians who ended the match in the ascendancy. Even playing England just five days ago didn’t overly hinder them in this game.
Now Australia have only four days before their next game against Uruguay and will hope they can recover in time to ensure maximum points against the South Americans on Sunday in Birmingham before the big games against Wales and then England.
Coach Michael Cheika said he would make changes for the Uruguay game. ”I will more than likely change everyone in the starting team to get everyone a touch of the ball,” he told the post-match press conference.
“That’s important in this tournament. I’m pretty sure England play weekend to weekend and we don’t have that advantage of playing each weekend, we have to play two games in five days, so it’s very important to use the squad.”
It’s clearly a ploy to give his first choice players extra recovery time with, of course, one eye on the crucial England game.
As Group A comes to a climax in a couple of weeks, the question now is whether or not the failure to secure the bonus point against the Fijians will prove costly to the Wallabies.
Cheika is not concerned about it, saying, “If you win every game you haven’t got to worry about a bonus point.” Aussie fans will hope he is right.