It was a solid performance by the Australian side as they won 34-2 over Fiji but it was an injury to back-rower Luke Lewis that overshadowed the win, as he suffered a tournament-ending shoulder injury.
The incident happened after Lewis slid into an advertising sign with 10 minutes to go and as a result, he dislocated his shoulder, thus ending his tournament.
The concern for his well-being was immediate and it took some time for medical staff to get his shoulder back in place, with coach Tim Sheens confirming that it is definitely the end of his tour.
“It’s definitely the end of his tour,” Sheens said.
“He’s a great tourist, a great member of the squad, all the boys love him and he obviously can play.
“It’s going to be a big loss for us.
“It is disappointing for the group – the boys are pretty concerned for him.
“He’s in good hands with the medical staff and he’ll recover from it. It’s not a career-ending injury or anything like that.
“It’s just disappointing for his tournament.”
With uncertainty as to whether a replacement for Lewis can be named, Sheens and the Australian selectors will have to see if they are allowed to do so.
“I think we were rusty and we did some silly things but defensively we were very good,” he said.
With several changes made for this game, two debutants in Josh Papalii and Daly Cherry-Evans got on the scoresheet and although they were sloppy and lacking execution at times, under the circumstances in what seemed like monsoonal conditions, it was to be expected.
For Fiji, although they lost by 32, it was the first time in the last few meetings that they were able to prevent the margin going out to over 50 points.
For Fiji Bati coach Rick Stone, he thought his side defended quite well.
“We defended pretty well considering we are playing against a champion Kangaroos side,” Stone said.
“We didn’t gift too many soft tries.”
Australia 34 (Josh Papalii, Darius Boyd, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Luke Lewis, Daly Cherry-Evans; Goals: Thurston 5) def. Fiji 2 (Goals: Alipate Noilea).