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What a beauty

Fred Wesley
Tuesday, November 07, 2017

What a beauty! Fijian fans would have rubbed their hands in glee on Sunday night as the Bati walloped Wales 72-6 in our second game of the 2017 Rugby League World in Australia.

The win effectively set a new World Cup record for five eight Jarryd Hayne who became the highest try-scorer in the event when he powered through for a try in the 42nd minute of the game.

The Bati dominated a match that saw Wales being mere spectators at times. It was also our first back-to-back win in our world cup history.

Hayne came off with a blinder under perfect underfoot conditions, anchoring three try-assists with his try off a strong run by his winger on the right edge, Suliasi Vunivalu.

Fiji now prepares to take on the might of Italy who secured their first win with a 46-0 victory over the USA in Townsville on Sunday.

The Italians are expected to give the Bati its biggest test in this World Cup before the quarter-finals.

Despite Wales looking sluggish towards the end, there still were definitely many positives for the Bati.

National coach Mick Potter has an exciting team of mobile forwards and big backs, and they did enough to put other teams on notice.

If there is one thing that stood out aside from the massive scoreline it would have to be our mobility around the park, on top of our much improved attack and defence shapes.

Frontrowers Ashton Sims and Junior Roqica when they came on had grunt on top of pace. Starting frontrower Eloni Vunakece even had a step and sleight of hand.

Secondrowers Viliame Kikau and Salesi Faingaa were fast, picked up gaps in the Welsh defence and were running strong lines. Lockforward Tui Kamikamica was on fire in both attack and defence, providing reassurance for the pack.

It was obvious that a lot of the play centered around the right edge of our attack with five eight Hayne combining well with centre Taane Milne and Vunivalu.

Halfback Henry Raiwalui was equally strong on the left edge with centre Akuila Uate and winger Montoya coming off with a number of strong bursts.

As we prepare for the clash against Italy, Potter will no doubt be keen to keep a lid on our completion rate and maintain our attacking and defensive shapes with a mind to improve for the quarter-finals.

Even if the Italians beat Fiji on Friday in Canberra, it won't be enough to stop us from advancing to the quarter-finals because of the huge point difference.

For whatever it is worth, excitement is brewing. Sunday night was a beauty. Fans will no doubt be looking forward to more of that on Friday. Go Fiji, go.

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