Fiji Time: 11:15 PM on Wednesday 22 November

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Faith in our Bati

Fred Wesley
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fiji Bati coach Mick Potter yesterday maintained faith in the side that defeated New Zealand 4-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Wellington on Saturday.

He said it would be hard to change combinations at this time.

The Bati are scheduled to take on the might of the Australian Kangaroos in the semi-finals this Friday in our toughest match to date.

The Bati went through a training session yesterday at the Easts League Club grounds in Brisbane and are expected to take a day off today.

With limited time to prepare for the Kangaroos, Potter said the Bati would focus on its preparation to get things right for our challenge on Friday.

"We have not looked too much at Australia, we are doing our own thing. We don't want to do too many changes to our team, everything is looking OK," he said.

Potter has retained skipper Kevin Naiqama at fullback with Suliasi Vunivalu staying as winger on the right edge outside centre Taane Milne and Jarryd Hayne at five eight.

Henry Raiwalui stays at halfback and will be on the left edge inside centre Akuila Uate, and winger Marcelo Montoya.

While the Kangaroos will no doubt focus on trying to nullify our halves' threat, there will be interest on how our linebreakers function against the Kangaroos pack.

Frontrower Ashton Sims will be on the left side of the trenches with exciting secondrower Viliame Kikau. Eloni Vunakece is our frontrower on the right side of the field inside Brayden Wiliame our secondrower on the right edge.

Potter has kept the faith in workaholic lockforward Tui Kamicakamica and hooker Apisai Koroisau completing our pack. They come up against an Australian side brimming with confidence, power and experience.

The Kangaroos look like a who's who of league.

Skipper Cameron Smith leads a pack that includes powerful frontrowers Aaron Woods and David Klemmer and secondrowers Boyd Cordner and Matt Gillett with Joshua McGuire coming in at lockforward.

Cooper Cronk will be inside Michael Morgan as the halves with Billy Slater coming in at fullback.

On paper the Kangaroos head in as hot favourites.

Fans will, however, be hoping Potter and Naiqama can inspire the Bati to reach out for the stars so to speak and deliver a memorable performance.

Friday is about self belief though. It is about team work, and standing up to be counted.

The Kangaroos offer a formidable obstacle for us to get past.

Try we must though. Fans will be banking on the Bati to ride on its attacking game and show resilience in defence.

They will be looking to our team to inspire a nation.

Go Fiji, go.

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