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Fiji Bati U23 loses in 9s semi-final

Moiz Munif
Sunday, February 25, 2018

VODAFONE Fiji Bati under-23 side bowed out at the semi-final stage of Commonwealth 9s Championship yesterday after a 22-6 loss to Tonga.

Tonga which defeated sides such as Papua New Guinea, Samoa and England, ran in five tries to qualify for the final to face Australia.

Earlier on day one Fiji beat Scotland 14 -10 as Sam Kurukitoga, Joeli Vulavou and Netani Narisia scored tries. In their second match Fiji beat Wales 12-4 as Narisia and Kurukitoga again were on the score sheet. Fiji lost 24-6 to Australia in their final pool encounter. Ratu Timoli scored the lone try for Fiji.

Timoci Naleba, the Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) chief executive officer, said in a statement prior to the semi-final stage that the young Bati reps could go a long way if provided with the right platform.

"This group of players defied all odds and defeated Scotland 14 to 10, defeated Wales, 12 to 4, and bravely lost to the Australians 24 to 4. The KALAWA Program is focused in developing these local young talents, and given the right support from all stakeholders they will be very impressive in future tournaments. We just need the right mind-set," Naleba said.

Meanwhile the Pacific Energy Fiji women's side lost both its pool matches on the opening day.

Paulini Korowaqa scored the lone try for the side as Fiji went down to Samoa 24-6 and later 24-0 to host Australia.

Fiji Bati U23 side later played for the bronze medal against Samoa while the women in the shield competition lost 16-12 to Canada in extra time.

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