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The Australian Media Tore Into Their Team After Humiliating Loss To Fiji

The Australian Media Tore Into Their Team After Humiliating Loss To Fiji
By Colman Stanley Updated
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Australia were handed their first defeat to Fiji since 1954, and their first ever in the Rugby World Cup, with a 22-15 defeat in Saint-Étienne.

A defeat to Wales this Sunday will almost certainly see the Wallabies eliminated from the tournament. And although head coach Eddie Jones has stated that he is building for the future, supporters will certainly rue a huge missed opportunity considering the advantageous side of the draw they find themselves in.

One of the players sacrificed in Jones' 33-man World Cup squad was former captain and 125 times capped back rower Michael Hooper.

While he is truly Aussie till the death, there was surely a small part of him that got satisfaction out of seeing Jones' failure, as he criticised his use of the subs bench, on Stan Sport.

"I am a huge fan of getting your reserves on," Hooper said.

Why would you leave reserves on the bench until under 10 minutes?

Get them out on the field to rip into it. But taking Samu (Kerevi) off - I'd love to see him go 80. But particularly with what is coming next week, maybe there was a bit of preservation there.

Australia On The Verge Of A Rugby World Cup Exit

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Peter Fitzsimmons of the Sydeny Morning Herald was not too complimentary either, describing the loss as a 'humiliation':

"A historic humiliation for the Wallabies. A win for the ages for mighty Fiji ... as the lights went on in Suva. Warmest congratulations to them.


"Fiji’s first victory over Australia in 69 years was because they were far and away the better team. They are the breath of fresh air the game needs.

"A metaphor for what we are escapes me right now, but it is not good, and our only hope next week is to be harpoons. Or something like that."


A major talking point of Jones' squad was his lack of an experienced out-half, having tried out the 35-year-old Quade Cooper during the warm-up games, before ultimately leaving him out of the final squad.


The reigns and responsibility were handed to 22-year-old Melbourne Rebels no. 10 Carter Gordon, whose performance yesterday featured numerous turnovers, while he was also at fault for Fiji's only try.

He was sensibly taken off by Jones in the 50th minute, with Owen Slot of The Australian lamenting the fact that the coach was forced to 'rip up' his plan that he had had been banking on.

"And then, in the 50th minute, the most significant match note of the entire Wallabies campaign: Gordon substituted," Slot said.


"Gordon having to make the lonely walk to the bench knowing that every eye upon him understanding that he has been deemed to have failed. In having built Gordon up as the coming man, Jones was now knocking him down. And in that one call from the coach’s box, Jones had torn up his whole plan.

"The decision to hook a player early is, of course, a hard one for a coach to make. It takes a certain courage of conviction to do so, especially when it is your playmaker.

"So this is where the Wallabies campaign stands right now. It is teetering on elimination. It has been banking on the Jones plan that Jones appears to have ripped up. They have only until Sunday, and Wales, to piece something together again. It is an extraordinary way to attempt to win a World Cup."

Wallaby legend David Campese also ran the rule over the performance for Planet Rugby, and tore into their attacking style.

"Sure, losing players like Will Skelton and Taniela Tupou didn’t help our cause but World Cup campaigns are based on squads, not individuals, and it was our squad and leadership that came up short.

“This was a side that have no clue how to attack and do not know each others’ games in terms of attack.”

“It’s simply not the way the Wallabies play rugby and if we continue to do that we will lose the support of our people who come to watch our traditional Aussie brand – attacking, intelligent and highly skilled, ironically the qualities Fiji exhibited all evening in this match.”

SEE ALSO: Eddie Jones Claims Australia 'Dominated' Against Fiji Despite Historic Loss

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