Gilmore gives pass mark after Junior Wallabies win

by Sam Phillips

Junior Wallabies coach Jason Gilmore cut a pleased figure after his side's comprehensive 51-5 win over Fiji but insists there is still plenty of work to be done.

The Australians were never really troubled by a Fiji outfit that hit hard and threw caution to the wind with ball in hand, though there were extended periods in which the home side were forced to defend their red zone.

Those sets came in the back 20 minutes of both halves, a time in which Gilmore felt his side clocked off after setting up a big lead.

"Both halves, in the first 20 minutes we executed really well," Gilmore said.

"At the end of both halves we slackened off a little bit.

"Against good sides you can't do that because they will make you hurt.


"But for a first up hitout I thought it was pretty solid."

The most impressive part of the Australian package, at this early point in the year, was the defensive work.

Limiting the Fijians to just one late consolation try was a commendable effort considering it was their first game together as a side.

"You want to make defence the backbone of your team and the rest flows off that," Gilmore said.

"We had a couple of markers that we wanted the boys to hit for their first hit out and we did that okay.

"The first 20 minutes of both halves we hit well and the shape was good but I was a bit disappointed with the back 20 in both halves - with our defence."


The defence gave the backs a chance to flourish and they did exactly that.

Len Ikitau, Matt McTaggart and Mack Hansen proved particularly hard to stop with ball in hand.

"I thought in the first 20 minutes we were nice and square, caught passes really well and guys held their width really well," Gilmore said.

"That's the key to attack - using all of the field - and those guys have some good skills."

Attention now turns to Tuesday's clash with Tonga, who were on the end of a 97-0 thumping against New Zealand in their tournament opener.