NIPPY playmaker Etuate Gusuivalu booted a winning penalty to salvage the New South Wales Country Fijians from the jaws of defeat in yesterday's Battle of the Bati duel with the Fiji Residents at Albert Park.
Both teams were locked at 12-all in the 66th minute when the Namatakula native stepped up and sliced the uprights to add the extra two points for the visitors.
He earlier scored a try in the third minute of play and successfully converted it for a 6-0 lead. Fullback Etuate Tagicakibau further extended the NSW lead with another try in the 10th minute.
Gusuivalu converted the try for a 12-0 lead.
However, the home team bounced back in the latter stages of the first spell with two unconverted tries Jone Marawa and Ilaitia Volavola.
In the second spell, Jone Marawa levelled scores with an unconverted try.
Fiji Bati head coach Rick Stone said he was pleased with the performance of the players.
"I have seen a lot of improvement form the players and I believe there is still a lot needed to be done as we prepare for the world cup," Stone said. The Rugby League World Cup will be held in Europe next year.
Meanwhile, 10 players were were selected after yesterday's game to face Italy in Asutralia. They are Timoci Yauvoli, Semi Cakau, Apisai Masikerei, Atunaisa Turagaiviu, Kitione Rasotale, Viliame Rakali, Lasaro Turagadrau, Etuate Tagicakibau and Jone Wesele. the rest of the team will be made up of players overseas players.