Fiji national rugby league team

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Fiji
Badge of Fiji team
Team information
Nickname Fiji Bati
Governing body Fiji National Rugby League
Region Asia-Pacific
Head coach Matt Adamson
Captain Kevin Naiqama
Most caps Akuila Uate (18)
Top try-scorer Akuila Uate (14)
Top point-scorer Wes Naiqama (132)
Home stadium National Stadium
RLIF ranking 5th
Uniforms
First colours
Team results
First international
Samoa Western Samoa 32–18 Fiji 
(Apia, Samoa; 1992)
Biggest win
 Fiji 72–6 Wales 
(Townsville, Australia; 5 November 2017)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 84–14 Fiji 
(Marathon Stadium, Newcastle; 12 July 1994)
World Cup
Appearances 5 (first time in 1995)
Best result Semi-finals, 2008, 2013, 2017

The Fiji national rugby league team, nicknamed the Bati (pronounced [mˈbatʃi]), has been participating in international rugby league football since 1992. The team is controlled by the governing body for rugby league in Fiji, Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL), which is currently a member of the Asia-Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC). Fiji have thrice reached the semi-finals of the Rugby League World Cup, in 2008, 2013 and 2017, and are currently ranked 5 in the Rugby League International Federation's World Rankings.

History

1990s

The game was introduced to Fiji only in 1992 but despite this there has been a long history of Fijian players making their mark in rugby league, most notably back in the 1960s when great players such as Joe Levula and Laitia Ravouvou joined Rochdale Hornets and became household names in the English competition.

Interest and participation in rugby league snowballed throughout Fiji, and as well as continued success in the World Sevens, the Batis began playing full 13-aside games against international teams. By 1994, Fiji had hammered the Great Britain Amateur tourists (40-8) and, captained by mighty front-rower James Pickering, beat France (20-12).

They had also produced their first rugby league superstar after winger Noa Nadruku joined Canberra Raiders and in 1993 became the top try-scorer in the Australian competition.

Fiji took part in their first World Cup in 1995 where, just as the 2000 World Cup, they had the misfortune to be placed in the same group as both England and Australia. But the Batis made a massive impression in their opening World Cup game in which they ran riot against South Africa, 52-6, and had the crowd on their feet at Keighley.

During the Super League war, Fiji, like most countries other countries, aligned itself with Super League. In search of international competition, the Australian Rugby League played a match against a "National Rugby League of Fiji" team in 1996. This match has been granted Test status by the Australian Rugby League, but not by the Rugby League International Federation.

2000s

Coached by Don Furner, Sr. and captained by Lote Tuqiri, Fiji competed in the 2000 World Cup but did not progress past the tournament's group stage.

The Fiji Bati qualified for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup held in Australia after finishing second in Pacific qualifying behind Tonga. Fiji's qualification campaign started with a thrilling 30-28 loss to Samoa before reversing the scoreline a few days later with a 30-28 win over the Tongans. Fiji won their final qualifying game against Cook Islands 40-4. Having qualified the Vodafone Fiji Bati team started their Rugby League World Cup 2008 campaign with 42-6 win over France followed by a 2-point defeat to Scotland, however they topped their group with a superior points difference. Beating Ireland in their quarter final they came within one match of the World Cup final, but were defeated by Australia, ending the tournament in 4th place.

2010s

Fiji automatically qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup after participating in the 2008 tournament. They took on Australia, England and Ireland in the pool stage. In their first match they took on 'the Wolfhounds'. They played at the famous Spotland Stadium, in Rochdale, where Fiji have an historic affiliation with. The Fijians convincingly won by a score of 32-14. As expected Fiji lost to both Australia and England, although they surprised many, as they only conceded 34 points against the teams in each game and they led 2-0 against Australia, and were within a few minutes of taking a half-time lead against England. Fiji would take on 'fierce Pacific rivals' Samoa in the quarter final. They won the, passionate pacific, fixture and they would celebrate with a 22-4 victory. They celebrated even more, as it meant Fiji reached their second consecutive World Cup semi-final. They took on Australia again, but this game was nothing like the group stage fixture. Fiji's errors conceded them 62 points against a classy Australian side. This defeat ended and equalled their best World Cup campaign in their history.

In May 2014, Fiji took on Samoa in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League Test at Penrith Stadium. The International was created as a qualifier for the final 2014 Four Nations spot. It was also a chance for the Four Nations team (winner of this international) to warm-up before the event kicked off later in the year. Fiji failed to qualify with their fierce pacific rivals getting the better of them by 32-16.

In May 2015, Fiji took on Papua New Guinea in the 2015 Melanesian Cup test at Cbus Super Stadium. Fiji won the match and the inaugural Melanesian Cup title.[1] Fiji never looked like losing the match after an easy first half performance, leading 18-0 at the break. They went on to win the test match by 22-10.

In May 2016, Fiji took on Papua New Guinea in the 2016 Melanesian Cup test at Pirtek Stadium. Fiji had a similar situation in this year's Melanesian Cup with a half-time score of 16-8 but this time around they conceded too many second half points allowing the Kumuls to make a shock comeback and win the match 24-22.

Kit

Primary
1992–1995
1995 World Cup
2008 World Cup

Players

For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see Fiji national rugby league team players.

Current squad

The Fiji national team squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.[2]

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Pts. Club
Fullback Jarryd Hayne (1988-02-15) 15 February 1988 (age 30) 9 20 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Wing Marcelo Montoya (1996-02-17) 17 February 1996 (age 22) 7 12 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Wing Pio Seci (1993-08-19) 19 August 1993 (age 24) 1 0 Giantscolours.svg Nabua Broncos
Wing Akuila Uate (1987-10-06) 6 October 1987 (age 30) 17 52 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Wing Suliasi Vunivalu (1995-11-27) 27 November 1995 (age 22) 6 38 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Wing Brayden Wiliame (1992-12-17) 17 December 1992 (age 25) 7 8 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons
Centre Taane Milne (1995-05-19) 19 May 1995 (age 23) 6 30 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers
Centre Kevin Naiqama (Captain) (1989-02-04) 4 February 1989 (age 29) 15 20 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers
Centre Mikaele Ravalawa (1997-11-09) 9 November 1997 (age 20) 0 0 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Five-eighth Sitiveni Moceidreke (1994-11-27) 27 November 1994 (age 23) 3 12 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Halfback Henry Raiwalui (1989-02-24) 24 February 1989 (age 29) 4 4 Wellington colours.svg Mounties RLFC
Prop Kane Evans (1992-01-09) 9 January 1992 (age 26) 10 4 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Prop Ben Nakubuwai (1996-03-15) 15 March 1996 (age 22) 8 8 Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils
Prop Junior Roqica (1991-02-13) 13 February 1991 (age 27) 13 4 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Prop Jacob Saifiti (1996-05-01) 1 May 1996 (age 22) 7 0 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Prop Ashton Sims (1985-02-26) 26 February 1985 (age 33) 12 0 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg Toronto Wolfpack
Prop Eloni Vunakece (1987-05-27) 27 May 1987 (age 31) 15 12 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters
Hooker Apisai Koroisau (1992-11-07) 7 November 1992 (age 25) 16 38 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Hooker James Storer (1982-02-16) 16 February 1982 (age 36) 12 8 Western Suburbs colours.svg Port Kembla Blacks
Second-row Salesi Junior Fainga'a (1998-08-19) 19 August 1998 (age 19) 1 4 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Second-row Tui Kamikamica (1994-05-18) May 18, 1994 (age 24) 8 0 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Second-row Viliame Kikau (1995-04-05) 5 April 1995 (age 23) 8 16 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Lock Joe Lovodua (1998-03-18) 18 March 1998 (age 20) 4 4 St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
Lock Korbin Sims (1992-01-02) 2 January 1992 (age 26) 7 4 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos

Tournament history

Rugby League World Cup

World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
United Kingdom 1995 Group Stage 6/10 3 1 2 0
United KingdomIrelandFrance 2000 Group Stage 12/16 3 1 2 0
Australia 2008 Semi-finals 4/10 4 2 2 0
EnglandWales 2013 Semi-finals 4/14 5 2 3 0
AustraliaNew ZealandPapua New Guinea 2017 Semi-finals 4/14 5 1 4 0
Total 0 Titles 4/13 15 6 9 0

Four Nations

Four Nations record
Year Round Position GP W L D
EnglandFrance 2009 Not Invited
AustraliaNew Zealand 2010 Failed to Qualify
EnglandWales 2011 Not Invited
AustraliaNew Zealand 2014 Failed to Qualify
England 2016 Not Invited
Total 0 Titles 0/5 0 0 3 0

Pacific Cup

Pacific Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
New Zealand 1992 Group Stage 9/10 4 1 3 0
Fiji 1994 Second Place 2/10 6 4 2 0
New Zealand 1997 Group Stage 5/6 3 0 2 1
New Zealand 2004 Group Stage 4/6 2 1 1 0
New Zealand 2006 Second Place 2/6 3 2 1 0
Papua New Guinea 2009 Semi-finals 3/5 2 1 1 0
Total 0 Titles 6/12 20 9 10 1

Other competitions

Fiji have also participated in:

Results and fixtures

Below are the previous 5 matches of the national team."

New Zealand vs Fiji

18 November 2017
19:30 NZDT (UTC+13)
New Zealand  2 – 4  Fiji
Goals:
Shaun Johnson 1/1
(45' pen)
1st: 0 – 2
2nd: 2 – 2
Report[3]
Goals:
1/1 Apisai Koroisau
(15' pen)
1/1 Taane Milne
(62' pen)
Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 12,713
Referee: Matt Cecchin (Australia)
Man of the Match: Kevin Naiqama (Fiji)

Fiji v Italy

Friday, 10 November
7:40pm (AEDT)
Fiji  38 – 10  Italy
Tries:
Suliasi Vunivalu (60', 63', 68') 3
Kevin Naiqama (28') 1
Henry Raiwalui (40') 1
Brayden Wiliame (54') 1
Marcelo Montoya (75') 1
Goals:
Apisai Koroisau 3/4
(29', 40', 61')
Taane Milne 2/3
(64', 69')
Sin Bins:
Jarryd Hayne (34')
1st: 12 – 4
2nd: 26 – 6
Tries:
1 (20') Josh Mantellato
1 (43') Nathan Milone
Goals:
1/2 Josh Mantellato
(44')
Sin Bins:
(12') Jayden Walker
(34') Joey Tramontana
Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 6,733
Referee: England Robert Hicks
Man of the Match: Fiji Apisai Koroisau

Fiji v Wales (Inter-Group)

Sunday, 5 November
6:30pm (AEST)
Fiji  72 – 6  Wales
Tries:
Suliasi Vunivalu (14', 51', 61') 3
Viliame Kikau (22', 40') 2
Taane Milne (31', 56') 2
Eloni Vunakece (6') 1
Henry Raiwalui (16') 1
Salesi Faingaa (27') 1
Marcelo Montoya (33') 1
Jarryd Hayne (42') 1
Joe Lovodua (65') 1
Ben Nakubuwai (70') 1
Goals:
Apisai Koroisau 4/7
(7', 17', 23', 28')
Taane Milne 3/5
(40', 43', 52')
Suliasi Vunivalu 1/2
(66')
1st: 42 – 6
2nd: 30 – 0
Report[4]
Tries:
1 (11') Morgan Knowles
Goals:
1/1 Courtney Davies
(12')
Townsville Stadium, Townsville
Attendance: 7,732
Referee: England Chris Kendall
Man of the Match: Fiji Akuila Uate

Fiji v United States

Saturday, 28 October
7:40pm (AEST)
Fiji  58 – 12  United States
Tries:
Taane Milne (3', 11') 2
Kevin Naiqama (7', 30') 2
Suliasi Vunivalu (35', 64') 2
Akuila Uate (14') 1
Kane Evans (17') 1
Jarryd Hayne (46') 1
Viliame Kikau (60') 1
Henry Raiwalui (66') 1
Goals:
Apisai Koroisau 5/8
(8', 13', 18', 31', 47')
Taane Milne 2/3
(61', 68')
1st: 36 – 6
2nd: 22 – 6
Report[5]
Tries:
1 (21') Matt Shipway
1 (72') Junior Vaivai
Goals:
2/2 Bureta Fariamo
(22', 74')
Townsville Stadium, Townsville
Attendance: 5,103
Referee: New Zealand Henry Perenara
Man of the Match: Fiji Kevin Naiqama
6 May 2017
16:40
Tonga  26 – 24  Fiji
Report
Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 18,271
Referee: Ben Cummins Australia
Man of the Match: William Hopoate Tongamatemacolours.PNG

See also

References

  1. ^ "Fiji vs. PNG 2015 Melanesian Cup". Nrl.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Fiji Bati World Cup squad announced in Suva". rlwc2017.com. 7 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Fiji stun Kiwis to make World Cup semis". Nrl.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  4. ^ Morris, Dylan (5 November 2017). "Flying Fiji breeze past Wales". NRL.com. 
  5. ^ Morris, Dylan (28 October 2017). "Fiji thrash USA in Townsville". NRL.com. 

External links

  • Google-Video
  • Fiji Rugby League Fans Forums - RugbyLeague.org
  • 2008 Rugby League World Cup Site
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