Australia vs Fiji
Competition: June Rugby Internationals
Date: 10 June 2017
Kick-off: 07:00 CET
Australia have been in a bit of a rut recently, and questions are being asked of their quality, especially in Super Rugby and the players there, however, even with that, they will feel they have far too much in the tank for a raw Fijian side.
Looking back to the end of last year and the tour to the Northern Hemisphere, Australia lost a fair few games that they wouldn’t usually expect to, but even worse than that was when they won they were never that impressive. Games against England and Ireland came out in losses, but then when they faced the likes of lesser rated Scotland and France, they only managed to beat them two points and one point respectively. Coach Michael Cheika has named a host of debutants in his squad in what is obviously a rebuilding phase, but he does have the experience of Will Genia, Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper and the likes to call upon. Fiji, as always, will pose a physical threat, but they will not be structured enough to put on an 80 minute performance.
It is always a problem for the Pacific Islanders to try and face teams that are well drilled and supremely structured, and in Australia, they have one of those opponents. Fiji have some of the greatest game breakers in the world, such as Nemani Nadolo and Joshua Tuisova, but all these individuals never add up to a well oiled team. In Fiji’s games at the end of last year, the managed to beat the minnows that are Japan, but they were torn apart by England, as well as by the Barbarians. Games against the Islanders and the bigger nations of Australia and New Zealand are always very interesting as they two teams up their game against the close neighbours, but it does not matter how hard the Fijians are they need to be more clinical.
Australia vs Fiji: Head-to-Head Stats
These sides have only met three times in recent games, with Australia dominating by winning all of them. Two of those wins have come in World Cups, first in 2007, then in 2015.
Australia vs Fiji: Prediction
There is not much reason to believe that Fiji will pull of a shock in this game. They are always a tough opponent to open a campaign off on, but they are also a team that can be battered into submission over 80 minutes. There is a lot of growing for the Australians to do, and they will enjoy the defensive test, and they will also like the opener and lose attacking opportunities. Expect Australia to be too good, especially in the second half, and to win comfortably.
Australia vs Fiji: Tips
Fiji will have some individual superstars who will get them tries, back the wingers and big centres as try scorers.