The problem facing England is now is that Saturday’s opponents, Australia, will be able to capitilise even more than Wales did so it has to be a concern. 2-4 in the world – in the space of 13 days.
Biggar sent a long-range penalty creeping over the crossbar but Fiji fought back once more through Leone Nakarawa, a customary carry and offload from the giant second row causing havoc.
WALES won its third straight game at the Rugby World Cup, digging deep to beat Fiji 23-13 on Friday morning (AEST) and move to the brink of qualification from Pool A.
John Lacey’s handling of the game in Cardiff was inconsistent, and the former All Black was quick to point out it wasn’t all his players’ failings in that department. The Fijians notably denied the Wallabies and the Welsh winning bonus points.
One of Wales’ biggest challenges this week has been the short turnaround following their Twickenham triumph and they will go into battle against Fiji with 12 of the starting XV retained from last Saturday.
LIKE most Englishmen I’m still trying to get over the disappointment of last weekend’s narrow defeat to Wales.
“The schedule is the schedule”, he said.
“It is credit to the team how we have stood up to those teams and been competitive”.
He was urged to comment again Thursday.
But the Welsh produced a professional display, taking an 11-point lead by halftime that could have been bigger had they not wasted a couple of scoring chances after breaks from halfway.
“No I don’t”, said Lancaster, when asked if he thinks Australia have an underpowered pack.
“I’m not sure what the ramifications are of how you can organise a Rugby World Cup; I guess they have to do it within a certain timeframe and, for the number of games, that’s the luck of the draw”.
Playing in front of a home crowd is something Gatland feels will help his players to get the win.
There were still concerns over Wales’ scrum, penalised after an impressive Fijian shunt saw them retreating fast.
They began extra well and halfback Gareth Davies used a massive period of pressure to dummy and dive across the try line while near the end of the half, hooker Scott Baldwin burrowed over after another strong Wales foray.
Shortly after North thought he had scored that second try with a pick-and-go from close range but TMO George Ayoub spotted a Bradley Davies infringement in the build-up. With Vereniki Goneva and Tikoirotuma looking to get their hands on the ball, Fiji looked to exploit any broken field opportunities with their fast and powerful runners.
Cheika said this week that “every game is a World Cup final” in a sign of how seriously the Wallabies are treating the clash against their old rivals. “But we were not clinical in certain areas of the game and it cost us”.
Having come into the game on the back of a five-day turnaround, coach Warren Gatland’s side were given the fright of their lives by a Fiji side who threatened to damage Wales hopes of escaping the “pool of death”.