Fiji-born Wallabies winger Suliasi Vunivalu says everyone is still positive despite an embarrassing 40-6 defeat to Wales in their third Pool C match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France on Monday.
Reacting after the final whistle, Vunivalu said, “It was a bit quiet but everyone is still positive. We have got another game next week and we’re looking forward to it.
“It’s a tough one to swallow but we’re not done here,” he told the Rugby Australia website.
“We have one more game next weekend and we have to up our game next week. Everyone is pretty tight and will be gutted for the next 24 hours. We’ll be back.”
Meanwhile Vunivalu’s teammates vented their frustration after the loss.
Teammate Richie Arnold said: “It’s a tough pill to swallow, we let the country down, we let ourselves down – pretty embarrassing to be honest.”
“F*** mate, what didn’t go wrong? I thought we started well and then we just got into a bit of a grind, they just wanted to play in that grind, into that boxing and then a crucial lineout there, an attacking lineout, we stuffed the lineout, they got a 50/22 and that was a big momentum change.”
Fly-half Ben Donaldson said they let themselves and the country down.
“It wasn’t too much we could say in the sheds other than we weren’t good enough.”
“We thought we were good enough, we did all the prep and we know we trained really well off the back of last week. We thought we were going to put a good performance in and it was clear out there we weren’t and we have to own that.”
“Gutted, absolutely gutted,” said Andrew Kellaway.
“I don’t know if it was a lack of experience, I think we just got bashed. At the set-piece they beat us, they out kicked us. They showed us how to manage a game.”
“Pretty well every area of the game tonight we got beaten. You can call it what you want, we got beaten at rugby unfortunately. I don’t know if that’s an experience thing, that’s just a rugby thing.”
Prop Angus Bell said, “Very disappointing mate. Pretty raw at the moment, how much emotion all the boys are showing – it’s a devastating day and I guess it’s pretty raw at the moment.”
“We’re shattered. It’s hard for us to put into words, I guess at the moment. But yeah, we’re just sorry that we let down a lot of people back home. Obviously, there’s a lot of people that came over to France to support us also. And the people back home who got up early mornings to support us. So we’re incredibly disappointed.”
Australia plays its final pool match against Portugal at 3.45am on Monday (Fiji Time).
They will have to win that match by an impressive score and will have to hope that Fiji loses its remaining matches against Georgia and Portugal.