'Kick stones, move on': Wallabies turn attention to Wales

Bruce: Fiji dominated the Wallabies in every facet of game (1:59)

Sam Bruce breaks down a disappointing performance from Eddie Jones' side as Fiji record one of the most significant victories in their history. (1:59)

SAINT-ETIENNE, France -- The Wallabies have taken the time to "kick stones" and have now turned their attention to Wales, adamant they can fix the areas where they were brought undone by an inspired Fiji at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday night.

Fiji were magnificent in their 22-15 win, with the only real blemish being missed penalty after the siren that would have also denied Australia a losing bonus point. The Fijians' triumph has effectively put everything on the line for Australia in Lyon next Sunday night when they meet Wales, with further bonus points also still a chance of deciding who advances to the knockout stage from Pool C.

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Reflecting on the seven-point defeat after the match, Wallabies flanker Fraser McReight said he felt Australia just couldn't get into the match, and when the moments did arrive to arrest the Fijians' momentum, his side simply just missed their opportunity.

"It was pretty tough out there, it just felt like we couldn't get going and the crowd was pretty intense out there," McReight told ESPN. "But yeah, it just felt like we were shooting ourselves in the foot every time we tried to get going."

Asked why he thought that was the case, McReight added: "A lot of penalties given away, we weren't good enough on our carry-clean [out] and then a few kicks; we would put it in behind and we would run it dead and then they would come back; scrum. It was just things like that.

"I thought we scrambled well in D in that first 20, but we were just giving away soft penalties."

Referee Andrew Brace was certainly very quick to reward the defending team at the breakdown, but Australia's work at the tackle was lacklustre regardless as they either failed to get numbers to the ball or missed the initial clean.

By the time Brace blew his whistle for fulltime, the referee had pinged Australia 18 times compared with Fiji's seven.

"Off the top of my head, I'd say the breakdown," Wallabies prop James Slipper, who became only the third Australian to play at four editions of the Rugby World Cup, agreed of Australia's chief area of woe.

"Just our discipline around that area, looking after the ball, I thought the Fijians were really strong over the ball and got a lot of pay for it, so we're going to have to look at that. I know we'll be disappointed by that as we trained hard on the breakdown, so yeah it was a disappointing night.

"Everyone is disappointed, whenever you lose a game, even outside of the World Cup, you're disappointed. Coaches and players are just the same, so we're all feeling it.

"And we were calm and measured in the changeroom, and we know what's coming is another big game against Wales now. So we'll kick stones now for half-an-hour or so, but now it's about getting better."

Fronting the media via Zoom on Monday, Wallabies coach Eddie Jones meanwhile said he had already switched focus to next week - the 63-year-old Australian bullish he could turn the team around in the space of a week.

"We're moving on to Wales now. This is the best coaching week, best playing week. These are the weeks you remember when you are under the pump quite a lot and you have got to produce a good performance," Jones said.

"We are starting to set our sights on how we need to play against Wales. The Fiji game, at the start of the game we couldn't find our rhythm.

"Physically we got a little bit struck by them and that put us on the back foot, and we never found our rhythm until maybe the last 20 minutes when we played with a bit more fluency and a bit more like ourselves.

"It's a harsh learning experience, but one that we will take into the Wales game."

Jones will be without both skipper Will Skelton and prop Taniela Tupou for that match, with the forward duo only likely to return from respective calf and hamstring injuries if Australia advances to the quarterfinals.

And that is where the pressure will come this week; this Australian group is staring down the barrel of becoming the first Wallabies team to fail to reach the knockout stage in 10 editions of the global showpiece.

After an 0-5 start to his second coming as Wallabies coach, and now a first loss to Fiji in 69 years, such a result would deliver another killer blow to a team that has become a bit of a laughing stock across the wider Australian public.

"This is one of the biggest challenges for this team and personally for the coaching staff," Jones said when asked where this week's assignment ranked in his coaching career. "We know how we want to play against Wales and we are going to work really hard to get the players back on track.

"When you have a loss like this it knocks you around a bit. It knocks you emotionally and team ethics wise. You start seeing shadows in every corner of the room.

"There is noise from outside which you have to handle. That's the challenge for the coaching staff this week, to make sure they have got the right noise."