Australia 'A' outclass Fiji
July 14, 2006

Australia A scored a comprehensive win against Fiji last night, outclassing the visitors 47-18 in the 2006 Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series match at Adelaide Oval.

Despite forecasted rain, 6,174 fans braved the cold but dry night to watch the return of international Rugby to Adelaide after two years. And they weren't disappointed.

Following a scrappy start by both teams, Australia found its rhythm and fullback Cameron Shepherd found the tryline, scoring his first of a hat trick of tries seven minutes in.

Bundaberg Rum Man-of-the Match Digby Ioane celebrated his 21st birthday with the home team's second hat trick, terrorising the opposition with each touch of the ball.

The youngster, playing out of his comfort zone on the right wing, was outstanding for Australia A, gaining enormous ground for his team, often with several defenders in tow.

The Australian backline was also impressive, continually probing the opposition and exploiting gaps in Fiji's defence.

While perhaps not reflected in the final score, Fiji was also strong, frequently cutting down Australia's defence while on the counter attack.

The visitors came back towards the end of the match, posting three tries in seven minutes, all against the run of play and all much to the surprise of the Australians.

Fiji's last try, which they scored on the full time whistle, was the team's best example of their trademark fast and exciting style of play, the ball passing through several sets of hands before it reached the tryline.

Both teams now travel to Melbourne for a second match, on Saturday 22 July at Olympic Park.

Australia A 47 (Cameron Shepherd 3, Digby Ioane 3, Adam Ashley-Cooper tries, Cameron Shepherd con, 2 pens, Josh Valentine con, Sam Norton-Knight con) defeated Fiji 18 (Luveitasau Mosese, Akapusi Qera, Jeremaia Tuilevu tries, Jo Tora pen).

Half time: Australia A 23-3

Referee: Brett Bowden (Australia)

Crowd: 6,174

Bundaberg Rum Man-of-the-Match: Digby Ioane, Australia A

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