Fiji ‘too good’ | Koroibete rates team

Marika Koroibete of Australia looks dejected after the game against Fiji at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne, France. Picture: Martin Seras Lima

Marika Koroibete made a quick call to Fiji before the game against the FIJI Water Flying Fijians to share jokes with cousins over the outcome of the match.

In the end, it was his cousins back in the village that had the last laugh. Fiji had pulled off a historic win against the mighty Wallabies – only the second in their history and a long one between drinks – 69 years to be exact.

It happened at the State Geoffroy-Guichard in St Etienne, a ground where Fiji had suffered its heaviest defeat on French soil 22 years ago in 2001— a 77-10 loss to the hosts.

That all changed on Monday as Fiji rugby showed it could compete with the best teams in the world.

“I called the family back in Fiji just before the game, joking around with my cousins on the game today,” Koroibete said.

“We tried our best, but today Fiji was too good.

“It was a really physical battle with the Fijian brother. They were on from the start and we tried to keep up with them, but they were too good.

“We watched them beat England. Against Wales, they were unlucky with that one and we knew they were going to come hard at us.

“I think we didn’t front up to them enough to counter their physicality.”

The loss leaves Australia needing a result against Wales in Lyon on Monday, September 25 if they are to avoid missing out on the knock-out stages for the first time in Rugby World Cup history.

For Koroibete, it could just work out for him and his cousins in Fiji.

“It’s not a good situation to be in at the moment. In a way, it’s good for Fiji and good for Australia as well; hopefully we get a good game and smash Wales, so Fiji and Australia will be in the quarter-final.”

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