Australia vs Fiji result: Wallabies battle back to win Rugby World Cup 2019 opener after upset threatened

Jack de Menezes
Australia fought back to beat Fiji: Getty

Australia got up and running at the Rugby World Cup with a 39-21 victory over Fiji, but the Wallabies were made to fight for it after surviving a big scare against the Pacific Islanders.

Fiji lead from the third minute and at one stage found themselves 21-12 ahead, with tries from Peceli Yato and Waisea Nayacalevu plus 11 points from the boot of Ben Volavola giving them an advantage that suggested an upset was on the cards.

But after first-half tries from Michael Hooper and Reece Hodge, Australia kicked on in the final half an hour to score four unanswered tries - two of which came from hooker Silatolu Latu - with the final scores coming from Semu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete.

Re-live the live action below.

When is it?

Australia vs Fiji takes place on Saturday 21 September at the Sapporo Dome Stadium.

When does it start?

The match will kick-off at 1:45pm Japan Standard Time, which is 5:45am BST.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be shown live on ITV from 5:15am BST.

Teams

Australia: Kurtley Beale; Reece Hodge, James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete; Christian Lealiifano, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa; Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold; David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.

Replacements: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Will Genia, Matt Toomua, Dane Haylett-Petty.

Fiji: Kini Murimiruvalu; Josua Tuisova, Waisea Nayacalevu, Levani Botia, Semi Radradra; Ben Volavola, Frank Lomani; Campese Ma’afu, Samuel Matavesi, Peni Ravai; Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa; Dominiko Waqanoburotu, Peceli Yato, Viliame Mata.

Replacements: Tuvere Vugakoto, Eroni Mawi, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Ratuva, Mosese Voka, Nikola Matawalu, Alivereti Veitokani, Vereniki Goneva.

Odds

Australia to win: 1/6

Fiji to win: 7/1

Draw: 50/1

Prediction

Australia 30-20 Fiji: The Wallabies may well get a fright, but they look to be a much more structured side than around a year ago and they tend to peak at World Cups. Michael Cheika remains a superb coach despite the pressure he’s under, and although Fiji have the individuals to upset the Wallabies, their recent defeat by Japan suggests they’re not quite ready to reach the quarter-finals.