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Battle looms

Emoni Narawa
Saturday, May 03, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji Bati assistant coach Joe Rabele says playing rugby league heavyweights will be a huge motivation for Fiji's qualifying match against Toa Samoa.

The Bati players will lock horns again with its Pacific counterpart for the second time in two years at Penrith Stadium at 9.30pm tonight.

The winner qualifies for the Four Nations Championship against top flights New Zealand, England and world champions, the Australian Kangaroos.

He said the opportunity to play the top rugby league nations would be an opportunity to grasp with both hands.

"This opportunity of playing at the Four Nations hardly comes around so this game against Samoa is very important to us," he told Times Sport.

"Australia, England and New Zealand are top rugby league teams and it will be huge exposure for the players to play against them, that's the big motivation for the players."

In his run on team, Fiji Bati head coach Rick Stone has included the experience of Australian dual international Lote Tuqiri, Ashton Sims who will captain the side and RLWC stars such as Alipate Tani, Aaron Groom, James Storer, Korbin Sims, Kane Evans, Semi Radradra, Peni Botiki, Kevin Naiqama, Marika Koroibete and Junior Roqica.

At last year's Rugby League World Cup, Fiji had the better of Samoa during the quarter-final in Europe. However, Rabele said tonight's fixture would be another tale of the story.

Fiji Bati: 1. Kevin Naiqama, 2. Marika Koroibete, 3. Semi Radradra, 4. Lote Tuqiri, 5. Eto Nabuli, 6. Alipate Tani, 7. Aaron Groom, 8. Ashton Sims (c), 9. James Storer, 10. Kane Evans, 11. Vitale Jr Roqica, 12. Peni Botiki, 13. Korbin Sims; Inter-changes: 14. Waqa Blake, 15. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 16. Osea Sadrau, 17. Atunaisa Turagaiviu

Toa Samoa: 1. Peter Mata'utia, 2. Daniel Vidot, 3. Ricky Leutele, 4. Krisnan Inu, 5. Young Tonumaipea, 6. Reni Maitua, 7. Penani Manumaleali'I, 8. Sam Tagataese, 9. Michael Sio, 10. David Fa'alogo, 11. Leeson Ah Mau, 12. Dominique Peyroux, 13. Isaac Liu; Inter-changes: 14. Junior Paulo, 15. Dunamis Lui, 16. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 17. Suaia Matagi, 18. Carlos Tuimavave.

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