No bonus points, no worries for Wallabies

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika won't be losing any sleep over Australia's lack of bonus point, after their opening World Cup win.

The Wallabies missed out on a four-try bonus point in their 28-13 win over Fiji on Thursday morning (AEST), leaving them behind Wales and England in their group, both of whom clinched bonus point wins in their opening round matches.

Australia looked assured of the extra point when Sekope Kepu crossed in the 43rd minute but Fiji’s second half pressure proved too much to penetrate.

In the ultra competitive Pool A, the Wallabies’ points difference and bonus points could be pivotal in determining who progresses Cheika said he was simply happy the Wallabies started off with a win.

“No we’re not (worried about missing out on the bonus point),’ he said.

“I’m new to Test footy and international rugby but for me, winning a Test match, that’s all you need to do and then you go to the next one.

“I’m not counting points. I just want to win one game and then go to the next one and try to win the other.”

Cheika reiterated his intention to completely change his starting XV for Sunday’s Uruguay match in Birmingham, with just a four-day turnaround.

"I will more than likely change everyone in the starting team to get everyone a touch of the ball,” he said.

“That's important in this tournament.

“I'm pretty sure England play weekend to weekend and we don't have that advantage of playing each weekend, we have to play two games in five days, so it's very important to use the squad."

Changes would likely see Quade Cooper at flyhalf and the Brumbies’ Matt Toomua, who was injected for the final handful of minutes against Fiji, starting at inside centre.

The availability of number eight Wycliff Palu (hamstring) could determine the look of the back row, and potentially push one of Kane Douglas or Rob Simmons to back up for the Uruguay game.

An improved Fiji side competed with the Wallabies, particularly as the game wore on but now the Wallabies’ focus switches to the South Americans, captain Stephen Moore said.

"We've known about this (draw) for a long time, it's not as if we've just been landed with it as we arrived,” he said.

“We've been able to prepare accordingly and all we've been worried about was Fiji.

“Now that's a hurdle we've overcome and we move on to Uruguay, and that is all we'll worry about."