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Fiji Time: 10:44 PM on Thursday 17 April

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RLWC debut on Naiqama's mind

Emoni Narawa
Friday, January 03, 2014

PENRITH Panthers' new signee Kevin Naiqama has described Fiji's Rugby League World Cup pool play duel with Ireland as one of the best footy games of his young, colourful career.

Naiqama started at fullback and scored a try while setting up two for winger Akuila Uate, who completed a hat-trick, to help the Vodafone Fiji Bati beat the Irish 32-14 and book a spot in the quarter-finals.

The 24-year-old described the game as electrifying. Fiji started its RLWC campaign with the win against Ireland before losing to Australia and England and eliminating Pacific rival Samoa during the quarter-final.

"It's one of the best footy games I've ever played and I'll cherish the atmosphere of that game," he said. "The players played as a team, everyone was pumped up. There was so much energy and enthusiasm, and the players were very serious throughout the 80-minute game.

"The atmosphere was unexplainable. It was electrifying and everyone was just on their toes."

Naiqama said the experience of the RLWC would be one he would cherish, adding he was proud to have helped Fiji repeat its 2008 RLWC achievement of making the semi-finals. However, the youngster said Fiji failed to fire against favourites and eventual tournament winners, the Kangaroos.

"It was one of our worst games," Naiqama said.

"We dropped a lot of balls and to do that against a team like Australia is not right. They punished us with all the simple errors we committed."