Fiji v Samoa Highlights

Victory for rugby league Featured

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 18:49 Written by 

THE clinical and powerful Fiji Bati victory over Ireland and close encounters between the other nations in the Rugby League World Cup, is something unique that you will never get out of rugby union.

The free movement of players from one nation to the other and availability of Australia National Rugby League players to their origins help make the game competitive.

So it would not be surprising in the next couple of tournaments, in the next decade, that the strength of teams will even up and higher competitions witnessed and rugby league close the gap on union.

The last thing we need is for the Australian Rugby League to monopolise the international organisation and change the rules, like the tier one nations did with International Rugby Board, because they dominated the committee.

But we should not anticipate or fear such monopoly as rugby league is trying to promote the game to other parts of the world.

The way they are going the game will certainly create a big following as the fans have flocked to watch the games and millions witness it over the worldwide media.

Fiji Bati skipper Petero Civoniceva may have aged but he showed yesterday that he still had it in his heart, bones and muscles.

He may have lost some of the vims and whims of youth, yet he showed the famous big strides that almost got him a try but the referee was not able to get a clear view of the ball being grounded.

If it was rugby union, he would not have been eligible to play for Fiji for he has represented Australia before and would have wasted away in his Queensland home watching the action by television.

So as three-try Akuila Uate. We would not have been able to witness those three beautiful wing tries and that giant left step and wriggle to outmuscle four Irish defenders. He had played for Australia too.

In union former Wallaby Ilivasi Tabua played for Australia in the 1995 Rugby World Cup and was able to return and represent Fiji to the 1999 RWC in France as they had not such rules then.

Nowadays, we have players such as Sitiveni Sivivatu and Joe Rokocoko who could have offered more rugby service for their country of birth had they been eligible and prevent the embarrassing losses Fiji had in the 2011 RWC.

The Super Rugby competition is also selective along the same lines giving preferences to Kiwi players who want to play for the All Blacks rather than other national representatives.

The NRL has no such restrictions.

The Fiji Bati win yesterday may not be Fiji's last. Australia and England are not unbeatable and all the Fijians need to do is to tighten up on discipline and not give away any penalties.

The Irish may have pricked the Fijian nerve and caused them to lose concentration with the high tackles and emotions were boiling over.

'O keitou qori,' a Fijian fan watching television said as the high tackles came. Well ginger-haired giant Eloni Vunakece became the scapegoat and got a yellow card after final warning on both teams was made by the men in control.

One of the welcome surprises was the kicking games of Aaron Groom and Alipate Noilea.

They hoisted bombs in the air which caught the Irish flatfooted and this led to tries.

The first bomb came to Noilea who made a backpass for Tariq Sims to go over for the third try while Korbin Sims outjumped everyone else, including his brother, to score following a bounce from a high kick.

The Fiji Bati victory was special for residents of Rochdale, the origin of Fiji rugby league and the tries and victory will definitely be remembered for a long time.

Go Fiji Bati Go!


Kameli Rakoko  |  Wednesday, October 30, 2013  |  Fiji Times

Read 95587 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 21:28
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