A GUTSY performance by the Vodafone Fiji Bati side restricted the mighty Kangaroos to six tries as they went down 2-34 in the Rugby League World Cup yesterday.
The Kangaroos scored more than 50 points in every game against the Bati in their previous three meetings, however, a determined performance by Fiji managed to keep Australia at bay at the Langtree Park in St Helens.
Fiji drew first blood after six minutes with a penalty to Alipate Noilea and then it was Australia all the way from there until the final whistle.
It was a more disciplined performance compared to the Bati's 34-14 win over Ireland last Monday.
A respectable 16-2 score-line at half-time spoke volumes of the Fijians' efforts.
Fiji gave away only six penalties in the game, which was marred by heavy rain mid-way.
Captain Petero Civoniceva led by example and made 21 tackles and 15 carries against his former side.
Known as Meter Eater in the National Rugby League circle in Australia, he was Fiji's best ball carrier with 147 metres in the match.
Stone said he was proud of his brigade but disappointed with some of the decisions by certain players.
"I'm really proud as we were playing the Kangaroos, a terrific side and a really outstanding team who are full of good players," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"We are disappointed with some of the things we did in attack and we perhaps needed to throw a little bit more at them.
"It would have been nice to come up with a try but, considering how we handled the conditions, I'm pretty happy."
He added his boys could have played a better game and tightened their defence.
"We did some good stuff but perhaps we gave them too much respect in terms of the way we attacked them.
"They pumped us a lot down the middle but we at least tried to make it hard for them to get their tries.
"We also need to improve our kicking game a little and add a little bit more to our attack," he said.
Australian skipper Cameron Smith said they expected a tough match.
"We were expecting a tough game but this was very physical and their (Fiji) ball control was very good."
The Bati face England in their remaining Group A fixture on Sunday morning.
Fiji is currently third in the group standing with two points from two matches. Australia leads the standing with four points while England is second with two points and a superior points advantage.
Australia - 34: Josh Papalii, Darius Boyd, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Daly Cherry-Evans, Luke Lewis tries. Jonathan Thurston five conversions. Fiji - 2: Alipate Noilea penalty.