Cheika 'not looking for perfection' after struggle vs. Fiji

Australia head coach Michael Cheika admitted his side struggled to find their rhythm in their World Cup opener. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

A come-from-behind 39-21 victory over a fast-starting Fiji was far from perfect but it gave Australia a bonus point and something to build on as they head into a potential pool-winning clash with Wales next week, according to head coach Michael Cheika.

The Wallabies were 21-12 down early in the second half of their Pool D opener at the Sapporo Dome on Saturday and seemingly unable to switch gears against a fired-up Fijian side.

The introduction of replacement scrumhalf Will Genia, however, changed the momentum and allowed the Wallabies forwards to seize control of the game with two quick tries to hooker Tolu Latu putting it beyond Fiji's reach.

"We're not looking for perfection," Cheika told reporters afterwards. "It never happens in this game. We got tested.

"I think they got us a bit on the hop early on. They came out with some real aggression and we didn't get into our rhythm or flow.

"Once we got back to basics it was a good contest."

Cheika added that he felt the match under the roof in Sapporo had been eerily similar to their 2015 World Cup opener in Cardiff, when they also played Fiji.

"Maybe the score wasn't the same but the momentum was pretty similar," he added. "We were prepared for a strong contest and knowing that we would try and get ahead in the last 20 minutes. We know how good the Fijians are."

Fiji head coach John McKee said his side had the Wallabies on the ropes and he can be proud of his players.

"Certainly we take a lot of positives from that game, we had Australia on the rails for 40 minutes and a portion of the second half," he told a media conference.

"Some things went against us, penalties, the yellow card, we have got to close games out. You don't win test matches by being able to play really well for 60 minutes."

The Wallabies ended up scoring six tries and earned a bonus point from the victory, which could be important in determining the outcome of the winners of the pool.

The two-time World Cup winners face Six Nations champions Wales in Tokyo on Sept. 29, with the match now likely to determine the outcome of Pool D.