RUGBY. Well launched in this 2023 World Cup, Australia will have to put out the Fijian fire and respond to the physical challenge in a second match which promises a brutal shock. Follow the live commentary, from 5:45 p.m., on

As a good captain, Waisea perfectly summed up the situation in which Fiji finds itself. “It’s double or nothing,” he said at a press conference. The Fijian center dramatizes the situation a little but he has the merit of clearly expressing what is at stake in the upcoming match. A week after their defeat against Wales, which confirmed with a second improved victory against Portugal yesterday, Fiji know that they no longer have the right to make mistakes if they want to hope to see the quarter-finals. final of the 2023 World Cup, and yet facing them is Australia, the scarecrow of Pool C. “They play very well with a young and dynamic team, very aggressive on the line more. They hold the line well. ball, are good at scratching. They have a lot of weapons”, analyzed the Fijian coach Simon Raiwalui.

Not enough to invite optimism, especially since the liabilities are heavy between the two nations. Indeed, in 23 meetings, the colossi of the Pacific have bitten the dust 20 times against the Wallabies, and have not tasted victory since June…1954. 69 years of an unthinkable famine. Enough to weigh on the morale of any team but not this Fijian generation, convinced of its destiny. “When we heard that, it gave us confidence,” assured Graham Dewes, the former international pillar and for less than a year the coach of the Fijian forwards.

Positive thinking? No, the intimate conviction of one’s potential and the expression of the peaceful will to overcome everything. Confidence nourished by the performances achieved on the ground. Because if they lost against the Welsh, that says nothing about their domination with 60% possession and 655 m gained with the ball compared to 396 m for their opponents (also authors of more than 250 tackles, editor’s note). “This defeat is a disappointment, we have worked hard for this match but we will learn from it to face Australia,” said Waisea just after the defeat against the Welsh. These lessons are these too many misplaced balls which prevented them from making a difference.

“The most important thing for us is to concentrate on what we have to do, to concentrate on the fundamentals. If we manage to secure them, then they will be able to do nothing against us,” argues Graham Dewes. Indeed, their ability to produce clean rugby will determine the face of the match and the Australians know it well.

“They have that Fijian instinct, world-class players in all corners of the pitch and they like to carry the ball everywhere,” Carter Gordon bluntly warns. A striking power which does not worry the fly-half and his teammates but which requires them to be extremely vigilant.

As a fine strategist, Eddie Jones prepared his young group for the upcoming opposition and insisted on the defensive aspect. “We worked on our defense to try to annihilate all the opportunities they create with the ball. The Fijians are hard to tackle, they are rocks,” reveals Nick Frost, preferred in the second line to Richie Arnold and who will have much to do in the physical challenge in the second row especially since Skelton appears diminished.

Captain of the Wallabies, the La Rochelle giant injured his calf on Thursday in training and remains uncertain. If Jones bets on him, he clarified that he will only decide at the last moment depending on the state of health of his player. His absence or even partial presence would be a big blow as Skelton is the bedrock of the Aussie pack and embodies one of the best Australian assets to counter the raw power of the Fijians. “The battle of the rucks is going to be interesting. They are very good in this sector and we want to dominate them there,” Nick Frost is already delighted. A fierce battle awaits in Saint-Etienne, that of the last chance for the Fijians who so desire to translate their clear progress into results and finally invite themselves to the concert of the major rugby nations. Failed birth certificate or passing exam, Waisea, Tuisova, Radradra and the Flying Fijians will soon be fixed.

The match counting for the 2nd day between the Wallabies, nickname of the Australians, and the Flying Fijians will take place from 5:45 p.m., at the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in Saint-Etienne.

The World Cup match between the Australian team and the Fiji team will be broadcast live unencrypted on France 2.

The World Cup match between Eddie Jones’ Australia and Simon Raiwalui’s Fiji will be available for streaming on the Francetvsport platform.

BetClic: Australia: 1.50 / Draw: 20 / Fiji: 2.95

Sports Bet: Australia: 1.47 / Draw: 24 / Fiji: 2.85

Winamax: Australia: 1.43 / Draw: 25 / Fiji: 3.10

Australia: 1. Bell, 2. Porecki, 3. Slipper – 4. Frost, 5. Skelton (cap.) – 6. Hooper, 7. McReight, 8. Valetini – 9. White, 10. Gordon – 11. Koroibete, 12. Kerevi, 13. Petaia, 14. Nawaqanitawasi – 15. Donaldon.

Fiji: 1. Mawi, 2. Matasevi, 3. Tagi – 4. Nasilasila, 5. Cirikidaveta – 6. Tagitagivalu, 7. Botia, 8. Mata – 9. Kuruvoli, 10. Tela – 11. Radradra, 12. Tuisova, 13. Wise (cap.), 14. Wine – 15. Droasese.