CARDIFF, September 28- Wales heroics against England were quickly consigned to yesterday’s news by assistant coach Shaun Edwards as they swiftly turned their attention to avoiding a slip up against Fiji on Thursday.
“Obviously we’ve put ourselves in a good position but the job’s only half done. We’re fully aware of that,” Edwards said, drawing a line under the momentous 28-25 victory.
Thoughout the principality, ecstatic fans continued to celebrate the day after Dan Biggar’s 23 points with the boot and a Gareth Davies try shocked the World Cup hosts.
But for Edwards and the Welsh squad there was only a quick celebration on the bus ride from London back to Cardiff immediately after the game before switching on again to a World Cup that has five weeks to run.
Wales now have two wins from two games but are not assured of being one of the two sides to qualify from the tough Pool A.
Australia are also unbeaten after two matches, but still have England (one from two) and Wales to play, while winless Fiji have shown the potential to be spoilers in a pool that may eventually be decided on bonus points.
“If we don’t get the job done on Thursday against Fiji, or even if we do get the job done we’re still not definitely through,” Edwards said.
“We’re very very aware of the fact we didn’t go into this competition after the bitterness from 2011 just to beat England. We came to go as far as we can.”
Wales remain haunted by the outcome of their campaign in the last World Cup which ended with a 9-8 loss to France in the semi-finals when they played 60 minutes with 14 men after skipper Sam Warburton was red-carded.
It was Wales second visit to the semi-finals after 1987, when they were beaten by New Zealand, but they have never made the final.
This latest campaign was rocked by injuries before the tournament started and three more players — Liam Williams, Hallam Amos and Scott Williams — were seriously injured in the England clash.
But despite the short five-day break before the Fiji game, Edwards said the need to bank crucial points in the so-called ‘pool of death’ meant they could not rest star players.
“When you get some momentum you want to keep that momentum going,” he said.
“We do have quite a long turnaround after the Fiji game to Australia so the boys will get rested up next week. So we’ll be putting a pretty strong team out against Fiji.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by Fiji. Against Australia they conceded three tries and two of them were from mauls so they went 80 minutes and conceded only one open-field try against an Australian team who were fully loaded with all their best players.
“Another thing that impressed me massively was Fiji when they played England was the scrum. They scrummed very, very well and we’re fully aware we’ve got our hands full on Thursday.