Aussies win first World Cup match
Australia made a stuttering start to their World Cup campaign as they failed to earn a bonus point in their win against Pool A rivals Fiji in Cardiff today.
An even start saw Australia’s Bernard Foley and Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo trade penalties, before the Wallabies took control with two David Pocock tries.
Prop Sekope Kepu stepped over from close range to extend their lead after the restart, before Fiji fought back.
Ben Volavola reduced the gap, only for Foley’s penalty to ease Aussie fears.
However, the Wallabies’ inability to make their dominance count and score a fourth try to earn a bonus point means they are already a point behind England and Wales in a group containing four of the world’s nine best teams.
Michael Cheika’s side looked on course to match England’s four-try victory over Fiji last Friday after a clinical first-half performance.
But, after scoring their third try within seconds of the restart, Australia lost their way as Fiji battled back with their free-flowing attacking approach.
Scotland ran in five second-half tries as they opened their World Cup campaign with victory over Japan at Kingsholm.
Greig Laidlaw’s four successful penalties out of five gave the Scots a 12-7 advantage at half-time, Amanaki Mafi having crossed for Japan.
John Hardie and Mark Bennett touched down after the break and Tommy Seymour raced clear for the Scots’ third try.
Bennett’s second score secured a bonus point and Finn Russell celebrated his 23rd birthday by crossing late on.
Japan had caused a major upset when they beat South Africa 34-32 on Saturday but, despite a spirited first half, they were overwhelmed by Vern Cotter’s side, who now top Pool B.
Mafi scored after a successful line-out and Ayumu Goromaru converted but that 7-6 advantage would be Japan’s only lead in the match as Laidlaw largely kept his composure with the boot before the Scots fully took control.
France also overcame a wobbly first half-hour to beat Romania and continue their winning start in World Cup Pool D.
Showing 13 changes from the starting XV that beat Italy, France struggled for rhythm in the early stages and were level at 3-3 after 30 minutes.
But Sofiane Guitoune and Yannick Nyanga crossed to give them a 17-6 half-time advantage at the Olympic Stadium.
Guitoune, Wesley Fofana and Gael Fickou secured a bonus point, while Andrei Radoi scored a late consolation try.
The Oaks gave France a scare early on, with Morgan Parra’s penalty cancelled out by Florin Vlaicu, who also came close to scoring the game’s first try only to be held up on the line.
But Guitoune’s touchdown, moments after Romania prop Paulica Ion was sent to the sin-bin, set the platform for a comfortable France victory.