Over 15,000 Canberrans froze their butts off to watch the Wallabies defeat Fiji (49-3) at Canberra Stadium on Satuday night. And it was so worth the frostbite!
The Fijian game plan appeared to be lots of kicking behind the line, which seemed to work OK for them.
Unfortunately, there were also a lot of high tackles – hard to watch knowing we need our best players injury-free for Tri Nations next month. ABC News tells me today that Taniela Rawaqa and Saula Radidi are both facing dangerous tackle charges, so the fans weren’t the only ones to notice.
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Giteau was telling us on Thursday that they were expecting Fiji to throw the ball around a lot, and that it would be unpredictable play. So their plan was to do their best with their more structured rugby. And from the final score, it certainly looked like this worked.
It was a bummer to see Ben Alexander injure his knee in the second half. You can hear him on ABC Radio here saying that he thinks he’ll be out for six weeks, but still hopes to be back for Tri Nations. He told us on Thursday that he’s really looking forward to beating England and New Zealand, and I’m hoping he gets back to full strength by July. I thought perhaps the choice of music as he left the field was not the most uplifting for him (Eskimo Joe’s Foreign Land with the line I smell the blood of an Australian).
There were plenty of Fijian fans at the game, singing and waving flags and generally having a good time.
My other half recommends fried chicken and a thermos of hot chocolate to keep warm for things like this, while my friends on the other side recommend strapping a rugged-up baby to your front as your own personal heating unit.
Hopefully the crowd last night means we might get more Wallabies games in future. Canberra stadium is a great venue for it, pretty much any seat had a good view and plenty were close enough to almost feel part of the action.