Fiji national rugby league team

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Fiji
Badge of Fiji team
Team information
NicknameFiji Bati
Governing bodyFiji National Rugby League
RegionAsia-Pacific
Head coachBrandon Costin [1]
CaptainKorbin Sims
Most capsAkuila Uate (18)
Top try-scorerAkuila Uate (14)
Top point-scorerWes Naiqama (132)
Home stadiumNational Stadium
RLIF ranking5th
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
Appearances5 (first time in 1995)
Best resultSemi-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 5th in the Rugby League International Federation's World Rankings.

History[edit]

1990s[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[2] 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[edit]

Primary
1992–1995
1995 World Cup
2008 World Cup

Players[edit]

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

Current squad[edit]

17 man squad vs Lebanon for the 2019 Pacific Test.[3]

Pos. Player Club
Fullback Marcelo Montoya Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Wing Suliasi Vunivalu Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Wing Maika Sivo Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Centre Isaac Lumelume Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Centre Mikaele Ravalawa St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
Five-eighth Sitiveni Moceidreke Sunshine Coast Colours.svg Sunshine Coast Falcons
Halfback Brandon Wakeham Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Halfback Penioni Tagituimua Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Prop Tui Kamikamica Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Prop Korbin Sims St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
Prop Junior Roqica Canterbury colours.svg Central Charlestown Butcher Boys
Hooker Joe Lovodua Wellington colours.svg Mounties RLFC
Second-row Viliame Kikau Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Second-row Taane Milne New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
Second-row D'Rhys Miller Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Second-row Salesi Fainga'a Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Lock Jayson Bukuya Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

Tournament history[edit]

Rugby League World Cup[edit]

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 4 1 0
Total 0 Titles 4/13 20 10 10 0

Four Nations[edit]

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
EnglandScotland 2016 Not Invited
Total 0 Titles 0/5 0 0 3 0

Pacific Cup[edit]

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[edit]

Fiji have also participated in:

Results and fixtures[edit]

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

Melanesian Cup[edit]

23 June 2018
16:00 AEST (UTC+10)
Papua New Guinea  26 – 14  Fiji
Try: Rau (2), Olam, Page
Goal: Martin (5/5)
Report Try: Montoya, Phillips, Vunivalu
Goal: Moceidreke (1/2), Raiwalui (0/1)

Australia vs Fiji[edit]

24 November 2017
19:00 AEDT (UTC+10)
Australia  54 – 6  Fiji
Tries:
Holmes (18', 24', 42', 51', 65', 75') 6
Gagai (31', 69') 2
Slater (14', 48') 2
Goals:
Smith 7/10
(15', 19', 33', 43', 49', 53', 67')
1st: 22 – 2
2nd: 32 – 4
Report
Tries:
1 (59') Vunivalu
Goals:
1/2 Koroisau
(7' pen)
Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 22,073
Referee: Gerard Sutton (Australia)
Man of the Match: Cameron Smith (Australia)
Team lists:
FB 1 Billy Slater
WG 2 Dane Gagai
CE 3 Will Chambers
CE 4 Josh Dugan
WG 5 Valentine Holmes
FE 6 Michael Morgan
HB 7 Cooper Cronk
PR 8 Aaron Woods
HK 9 Cameron Smith (c)
PR 10 David Klemmer
SR 11 Boyd Cordner
SR 12 Matt Gillett
LK 13 Josh McGuire
Substitutes:
IC 14 Wade Graham
IC 15 Jordan McLean
IC 16 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
IC 17 Tyson Frizell
Coach:
Australia Mal Meninga
FB 1 Kevin Naiqama (c)
WG 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
CE 3 Taane Milne
CE 4 Akuila Uate
WG 5 Marcelo Montoya
FE 6 Jarryd Hayne
HB 7 Henry Raiwalui
PR 8 Ashton Sims
HK 9 Apisai Koroisau
PR 10 Eloni Vunakece
SR 11 Viliame Kikau
SR 12 Brayden Wiliame
LK 13 Tui Kamikamica
Substitutes:
IC 14 Joe Lovodua
IC 15 Jacob Saifiti
IC 16 Junior Roqica
IC 17 Ben Nakubuwai
Coach:
Australia Michael Potter

New Zealand vs Fiji[edit]

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[5]
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[edit]

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)[edit]

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[6]
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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/sports/rugby-league/brandon-costin-is-the-new-fiji-bati-coach/
  2. ^ "Fiji vs. PNG 2015 Melanesian Cup". Nrl.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Fiji vs Lebanon". NRL.com. 22 June 2019.
  4. ^ "2018 Pacific Test Invitational schedule finalised". NRL.com. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Fiji stun Kiwis to make World Cup semis". Nrl.com. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  6. ^ Morris, Dylan (5 November 2017). "Flying Fiji breeze past Wales". NRL.com.

External links[edit]