CARDIFF: Australia opened its Rugby World Cup campaign with a comfortable 28-13 win over Fiji at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Man of the match David Pocock scored two early tries from rolling mauls before twinkle-toed prop Sekope Kepu grabbed Australia’s third in the second half.
The Wallabies led 18-3 at halftime but failed to secure a bonus point for scoring four tries.
That could prove costly in the ‘group of death,’ given England were able to nail maximum points in their opening match against Fiji.
Former NSW Waratahs fly half Ben Volavola scored Fiji’s only try by slicing through the defence of locks Rob Simmons and Kane Douglas, while Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has concerns over prop James Slipper, who left the field with suspected concussion following a nasty head clash in the second half.
Both Cheika and captain Stephen Moore batted away questions about missing out on the bonus point, with Cheika even claiming he had been unsure about their existence at the tournament.
“We haven’t thought about the bonus point,” Cheika said.
“It’s not Super Rugby, it’s the World Cup.”
Added Moore: “I thought Fiji were terrific — they’re a much-improved side.
“We’re happy with our boys’ efforts, but there’s plenty to work on for the next Test.”
Australia now prepare for what should be a one-sided walk-over against Uruguay, with Cheika signalling his intention to field an entirely different starting XV