Fiji defeat leaves Wallabies with their backs to the wall at Rugby World Cup in France

Fiji defeat leaves Wallabies with their backs to the wall at Rugby World Cup in France

Wednesday 20/09/2023
The Wallabies were left searchig for answers after going down to Fiji.(Getty Images: Chris Hyde)

Having earlier this year suggested the Wallabies would launch a "smash and grab campaign" at the Rugby World Cup, coach Eddie Jones's plans are now in danger of being foiled at the first hurdle.

Never before have the Wallabies exited the tournament at the pool stage, but they are staring at that prospect following their 22-15 loss to Fiji in Saint-Étienne.

Their quarterfinal hopes are still alive for the moment, however Monday morning's result has heaped a mountain of pressure on the Australians ahead of their next pool match against unbeaten Wales in Lyon in a week's time.

A Welsh triumph would consign the Wallabies to a 1-2 win-loss record before their final pool match against Portugal.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our blog Five quick hits: penalties, squad questions and an important bonus point Such a scenario would require not just a win over the Portuguese but also the aid of bonus points and other results going their way if they are to have any chance of advancing to the last eight.

It is a position in which the Wallabies have never found themselves before at a World Cup.

While they recorded defeats in the pool stage at three previous editions, each time they were under no realistic threat of missing the knockout rounds. Now that they have their backs to the wall, the Wallabies only have themselves to blame.

Poor discipline cost them dearly in the Fiji defeat, as they were made to pay for a mammoth 18-7 penalty count against them.

Fiji converted from the kicking tee on five of those occasions through Simione Kuruvoli and Frank Lomani, building scoreboard pressure that the Wallabies could not overcome.

In fact, penalty goals proved the difference in the scoreline, as the Wallabies crossed for two tries to Fiji's one.

The inexperience of the Wallabies squad on the World Cup stage was laid bare in the build-up to Fiji's sole try, scored by Josua Tuisova just after half-time. A lack of communication between two of their younger squad members, Mark Nawaqanitawase and Carter Gordon, saw a Fijian box kick allowed to bounce, with Tuisova on hand to collect the crumbs before he galloped his way over the goal line.

It was a moment that best summed up the Wallabies' performance, with Jones admitting after the match that his side was a "poor version" of what it could be.

Story by Luke Pentony

Original story link:

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
LTA will introduce mandatory drug tests for drivers
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Land Transport Authority Irimaia Rokosawa says they have considered the issue of methamphetamine being taken by some...
4 hours ago
Practising responsible driving behaviours can easily avoid traffic offences – LTA Acting CEO
Traffic offences could easily be avoided if all road users practice responsible driving behaviors and adhere to road safety rules to curb the ...
3 hours ago

Public Consultation on land issues start next week in the central and northern division
The public consultation on land issues in the north and central starts next Monday where landowners and farmers are invited to give their views on ...
3 hours ago

Kings Road junction to Nokonoko Roundabout will be closed from 9pm tonight to 4am tomorrow
People living around Kings Road junction to Nokonoko Roundabout and nearby areas are advised to take a detour to Golf Link Road and Nokonoko Road, ...
4 hours ago

LegendFM and Vodafone Fiji give fans a chance to win cash for Christmas
LegendFM in collaboration with Vodafone Fiji will be giving its audience and fans a reason to smile this Christmas by giving them a chance to win ...
7 hours ago

Palestinians plea to end Israel’s Gaza onslaught
Israel continues intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip, as health facilities and humanitarian aid efforts are crumbling due to intense ...
8 hours ago
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ...
17 days ago

CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay ...
23 days ago

HIV infections in Fiji increased 260% since 2010, making Fiji the second fastest-growing epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, Fiji is in the top 5 countries of rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region amongst the 15 t
28 days ago