Fiji national rugby league team

Last updated
Fiji
Fiji National Rugby league team.png
Team information
NicknameFiji Bati
Governing body Fiji National Rugby League
Region Asia-Pacific
Head coach Brandon Costin [1]
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
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First colours
Team results
First international
Flag of Samoa.svg Western Samoa 32–18 Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg
(Apia, Samoa; 1992)
Biggest win
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 72–6 Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg
(Townsville, Australia; 5 November 2017)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 84–14 Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg
(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.

Rugby league team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

The Fiji National Rugby League is the governing body for rugby league in Fiji. They are based in the capital Suva, the League has suffered financially due to member leagues not paying affiliation fees.

Rugby League World Cup international rugby league football tournament

The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby league tournament, contested by national teams of the Rugby League International Federation, which was first held in France in 1954, the first World Cup in either rugby code. The idea of a rugby league world cup tournament was first mooted in the 1930s with the French proposal to hold a tournament in 1931, and again in 1951. The fifteen tournaments held to date have been at intervals ranging from two to eight years, and have featured a number of formats. So far three nations have won the competition. Australia, France and New Zealand are the only teams to have played in all tournaments. Since 2000, the RLIF has also organised World Cups for women, students and other categories. The 2017 Rugby League World Cup was held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea which was won by Australia.

Contents

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.

Rochdale Hornets

The Rochdale Hornets are a professional rugby league club from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, competing in the Championship, the second tier of European rugby league. Rochdale Hornets are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the world's first rugby league clubs. Their main local rivals are Oldham, Salford and Swinton.

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.

Noa Nadruku Fijian rugby union player

Noa Nadruku is a Fijian former rugby footballer of the 1980s and 1990s. After representing Fiji in rugby union, he switched to play rugby league in Australia for the Canberra Raiders and was named as one of the best 25 players for the Raiders' 25-year anniversary.

Canberra Raiders rugby league football club

The Canberra Raiders are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the national capital city of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. They have competed in Australasia's elite rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership since 1982. Over this period the club has won 3 premierships,, received 1 wooden spoon and had a total of 15 of its players selected to don the green and gold for Australia national rugby league team. The Raiders' current home ground is Canberra Stadium in Bruce, Australian Capital Territory. Previously, the team played home matches at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, with the move to the AIS Stadium in Bruce taking place in 1990. The official symbol for the Canberra Raiders is the Viking. The Viking, also a mascot at Raiders' games, is known as Victor the Viking.

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.

1995 Rugby League World Cup

The 1995 Rugby League World Cup was held during October in the United Kingdom. It was the eleventh staging of the Rugby League World Cup and was marketed as the Halifax Centenary World Cup, reflecting the tournament's sponsorship and the fact that 1995 marked the centenary of the sport. Envisaged as a celebration of rugby league football, the size of the competition was doubled, with four additional teams invited and Great Britain split into England and Wales

The 2000 Rugby League World Cup was held during October and November of that year in Great Britain, Ireland and France. Sixteen national teams competed in four groups of four, playing each other once over three weekly rounds before a series of play-offs that culminated in the final between Australia and New Zealand. Tournament favourites Australia defeated New Zealand in the final, claiming their sixth consecutive and ninth total Rugby League World Cup title. Australian winger Wendell Sailor was named player of the tournament.

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.

The Super League war was the dispute over control of the top-level professional rugby league competition in Australia and New Zealand in the mid-1990s, between the Australian Rugby League (ARL) and the Australian Super League.

Australian Rugby League

The Australian Rugby Football League, more commonly known as the Australian Rugby League (ARL), was the governing body for the sport of rugby league football in Australia. The ARL, as a corporate entity, was handed over to the new Australian Rugby League Commission. at 9:30am on 9 February 2012. Since its inception the ARL administered the Australian national team and represented Australia in international rugby league matters. During the mid-1990s' Super League war the ARL administered the country's first-grade premiership until the National Rugby League was formed. The legal hand-over from ARL to ARL Commission ensured that the game has effectively had the same governing body across Australia, since 1924.

Rugby League International Federation international rugby league governing body

The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) is the global governing body for the sport of rugby league football. The RLIF is responsible for the Laws of the Game, the development, organisation and governance of rugby leagues internationally, and for the sport's major international tournaments; most notably the Rugby League World Cup.

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.

Lote Tuqiri Fijian-Australian rugby league and rugby union player

Lote Daulako Tuqiri is a Fijian-Australian former professional dual-code rugby footballer who last played for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL. He represented Australia in both rugby league and rugby union, and Fiji in rugby league. He usually played as a winger in both codes. Tuqiri first rose to prominence as a professional rugby league footballer for the Brisbane Broncos and Queensland Maroons, as well as the Fiji and Australia national sides. He was therefore a high-profile signing for rugby union in 2002, winning 67 caps for Australia and being a part of their 2003 and 2007 World Cup squads. He played rugby union for the Waratahs in the Super 14 and Leicester Tigers in England in season 2009–10. Tuqiri's contract with the Australian Rugby Union was terminated on 1 July 2009. No immediate reason was given, and Tuqiri returned to rugby league in 2010, playing for the Wests Tigers of the NRL. In September 2013, he signed a short-term contract with Irish rugby union giants, Leinster to play in the Pro12 in a three-month deal. Just 6 weeks out from the 2014 NRL season, Tuqiri signed with his third NRL club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs on a one-year deal.

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. [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.

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Primary
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1992–1995
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1995 World Cup
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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. [3]

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsPts.Club
Fullback Jarryd Hayne 15 February 1988 (age 31)920 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Wing Marcelo Montoya 17 February 1996 (age 23)712 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Wing Pio Seci 19 August 1993 (age 25)10 Ipswich Colours.svg Ipswich Jets
Wing Akuila Uate 6 October 1987 (age 31)1752 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants
Wing Suliasi Vunivalu 27 November 1995 (age 23)638 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Wing Brayden Wiliame 17 December 1992 (age 26)78 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons
Centre Taane Milne 19 May 1995 (age 23)630 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
Centre Kevin Naiqama (Captain)4 February 1989 (age 30)1520 Saintscolours.svg St Helens
Centre Mikaele Ravalawa 9 November 1997 (age 21)00 St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
Five-eighth Sitiveni Moceidreke 27 November 1994 (age 24)312 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Halfback Henry Raiwalui 24 February 1989 (age 30)44 Wellington colours.svg Mounties RLFC
Prop Kane Evans 9 January 1992 (age 27)104 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Prop Ben Nakubuwai 15 March 1996 (age 23)88 Redscolours.svg Salford Red Devils
Prop Junior Roqica 13 February 1991 (age 28)134 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Prop Jacob Saifiti 1 May 1996 (age 22)70 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Prop Ashton Sims 26 February 1985 (age 34)120 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg Toronto Wolfpack
Prop Eloni Vunakece 27 May 1987 (age 31)1512 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters
Hooker Apisai Koroisau 7 November 1992 (age 26)1638 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Hooker James Storer 16 February 1982 (age 37)128 Western Suburbs colours.svg Port Kembla Blacks
Second-row Salesi Junior Fainga'a 19 August 1998 (age 20)14 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Second-row Tui Kamikamica May 18, 1994 (age 24)80 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne Storm
Second-row Viliame Kikau 5 April 1995 (age 23)816 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers
Lock Joe Lovodua 18 March 1998 (age 21)44 St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons
Lock Korbin Sims 2 January 1992 (age 27)74 St. George colours.svg St George Illawarra Dragons

Tournament history

Rugby League World Cup

World Cup record
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1995 Group Stage6/103120
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Four Provinces Flag.svg Flag of France.svg 2000 Group Stage12/163120
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2008 Semi-finals4/104220
Flag of England.svg Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 2013 Semi-finals4/145230
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg 2017 Semi-finals4/145410
Total0 Titles4/132010100

Four Nations

Four Nations record
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of England.svg Flag of France.svg 2009 Not Invited
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 2010 Failed to Qualify
Flag of England.svg Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 2011 Not Invited
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Flag of New Zealand.svg 2014 Failed to Qualify
Flag of England.svg Flag of Scotland.svg 2016 Not Invited
Total0 Titles0/50030

Pacific Cup

Pacific Cup record
YearRoundPositionGPWLD
Flag of New Zealand.svg 1992 Group Stage9/104130
Flag of Fiji.svg 1994 Second Place2/106420
Flag of New Zealand.svg 1997 Group Stage5/63021
Flag of New Zealand.svg 2004 Group Stage4/62110
Flag of New Zealand.svg 2006 Second Place2/63210
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg 2009 Semi-finals3/52110
Total0 Titles6/12209101

Other competitions

Fiji have also participated in:

Results and fixtures

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

Melanesian Cup

23 June 2018
16:00 AEST (UTC+10)
Papua New Guinea  Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg26 – 14Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji
Try: Rau (2), Olam, Page
Goal: Martin (5/5)
Report Try: Montoya, Phillips, Vunivalu
Goal: Moceidreke (1/2), Raiwalui (0/1)
Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney [4]
Attendance: 17,802
Referee: Matt Cecchin (Australia)

Australia vs Fiji

24 November 2017
19:00 AEDT (UTC+10)
Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg54 6Flag of Fiji.svg  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:
FB1 Billy Slater
WG2 Dane Gagai
CE3 Will Chambers
CE4 Josh Dugan
WG5 Valentine Holmes
FE6 Michael Morgan
HB7 Cooper Cronk
PR8 Aaron Woods
HK9 Cameron Smith (c)
PR10 David Klemmer
SR11 Boyd Cordner
SR12 Matt Gillett
LK13 Josh McGuire
Substitutes:
IC14 Wade Graham
IC15 Jordan McLean
IC16 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
IC17 Tyson Frizell
Coach:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mal Meninga
FB1 Kevin Naiqama (c)
WG2 Suliasi Vunivalu
CE3 Taane Milne
CE4 Akuila Uate
WG5 Marcelo Montoya
FE6 Jarryd Hayne
HB7 Henry Raiwalui
PR8 Ashton Sims
HK9 Apisai Koroisau
PR10 Eloni Vunakece
SR11 Viliame Kikau
SR12 Brayden Wiliame
LK13 Tui Kamikamica
Substitutes:
IC14 Joe Lovodua
IC15 Jacob Saifiti
IC16 Junior Roqica
IC17 Ben Nakubuwai
Coach:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Michael Potter

New Zealand vs Fiji

18 November 2017
19:30 NZDT (UTC+13)
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg2 4Flag of Fiji.svg  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

Friday, 10 November
7:40pm (AEDT)
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg38 10Flag of Italy.svg  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: Flag of England.svg Robert Hicks
Man of the Match: Flag of Fiji.svg Apisai Koroisau

Fiji v Wales (Inter-Group)

Sunday, 5 November
6:30pm (AEST)
Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg72 6Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  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: Flag of England.svg Chris Kendall
Man of the Match: Flag of Fiji.svg Akuila Uate

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  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 Bati World Cup squad announced in Suva". rlwc2017.com. 7 October 2017.
  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.