England confirmed Owen Farrell, Sam Burgess, and Brad Barritt will be its inside backs for the crunch Rugby World Cup pool match against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday.
Following Australia’s solid, if not enthralling, victory over Fiji in the Rugby World Cup, Michael Chekia underlines the importance of staying humble and the effectiveness of David Pocock.
Australia coach Michael Chekia meanwhile was pleased with his side’s victory and in a game that could have been a potential banana skin for the two-time World Cup winners.
“I am very pleased to have a win in our first game,” the former Leinster and New South Wales Waratahs coach said. “The physicality of the game was at a good level and it feels good to win as we haven’t played that much rugby over the last few weeks.”
A popular topic at the post-match press conference was the superb form David Pocock, who was awarded man-of-the-match after topping the tackle charts and scoring a brace of tries.
“David worked hard and was in the tackle contest a lot which is where we like him to be and where he is strongest,” the coach explained. “He played well on attack too and combined with (Michael) Hooper superbly off the ball.”
— Wallabies (@Wallabies) September 24, 2015
Despite Australia’s dominant display, they were unable to score a bonus point with a fourth try. When quizzed on how important that could be in deciding the final standings, Cheika was typically bullish.
“I know I’m new to Test footy and international rugby but for me all you need to do is win your games and the rest takes care of itself.
“Fiji are a top team and they have done a top job stabalising their set piece. They should not be underestimated when it comes to predicting bonus-point victories.
“I preach humility to my team and when you start talking about thrashing teams by four tries before even stepping on the pitch you can lose focus.
“Last week they ran England very close. Enngland only got a bonus in the end of extra, extra time and that is the home team who are favourites for the group.”
Meanwhile Fiji coach John McKee was left to rue his sides inability to convert early pressure into points, while praising their superior opponents on the night.
“It was a tough night for us tonight,” the New Zealander said. “We came with high ambitions and thought that we could maybe win it.”
“All credit to the Wallabies who played very well but I felt we controlled first half.
“We gave the Aussies too many opportunities in the second-half and a team as clinical as they are can take the game away from there.”
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 23, 2015
One factor that certainly has not helped the Fijians’ cause at the World Cup is the misfortune of being drawn in the toughest World Cup group with Wales, England and Uruguay joining Fiji and Australian. However McKee stopped short of using that as an excuse.
“It certainly didn’t help having to play England followed by Australia in such quick succession but all credit must go to the way the way Australia played tonight.
“To play so well for large parts of both games and come away with no points is disappointing.”
Australia will now have a fast turnaround, facing Uruguay on 27th September in Birmingham’s Villa Park, while Fiji take a well deserved break before returning to the Millenium Stadium to take on Wales on 1st Octoer.