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Bati, Kumuls Clash

Bati, Kumuls Clash
The Vodafone Fijian Bati team in the Gold Coast yesterday. Photo: FNRL
May 02
07:45 2015

Vodafone Fijian Bati and Melbourne Storm winger Marika Koroibete is confident that they are going to put on a good display against the Papua New Guinea Kumuls today.

This is despite the absence of a few key players like Penrith Panthers centre Waqa Blake, Sydney Roosters lock Kane Evans and Panthers Reagan Campbell-Gillard.

The trio have been chosen for City Origin competition this weekend.

Also veteran Newcastle Knights speedster Akuila Uate has earned a Country Origin recall while Tariq Sims’s selection for Country leaves Korbin Sims as the only member of the Sims family lining up for the Bati at the CBUS Super Stadium in Gold Coast tonight.

Yet still five members of Fiji’s backline are current starters for their respective NRL teams with Koroibete’s six tries for the Storm– and the manner in which he scores them – providing some of the highlights of the season.  According to NRL media, growing up in Fiji, Koroibete’s early rugby league education consisted of nothing more than games of touch-footy with his father, uncles and cousins every afternoon after school and said he had no concept of his blistering speed until a tour of Australia with a Fiji under-18s team in 2010.

“I just get the ball and run,” Koroibete said of his break-neck approach to the game.

“I didn’t even think I was fast until the boys were telling me I was fast.

So I would go back and watch my video and say, ‘Yeah, I am fast’. But not too fast. When I was 17 I went to the city to study at college and I saw my cousins were playing rugby league so I said, I’ll give it a go.

“I came over here with the Fiji under-18s rugby team in 2010 and played a few games and a few clubs were interested, not including the Wests Tigers.

“I went back home and the Wests Tigers e-mailed me so I came back to give it a crack and here I am now. My parents are super proud of what I have achieved and what I am doing now.

“Without them I don’t come this far and make my dream to play in the NRL and to play for Fiji.”

“It’s a huge boost to the kids back home, especially the kids who come from my school. Everyone is happy for me, especially my family.” Fiji National Rugby League chairman Reverend Dr Immanuel Reuben said the players are in high spirits and they are going to take things one at a time.

“They are all in camp training under coach, Rick Stone and all are well,” Rev Reuben said as he joins the team today.

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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