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Fijians Shine In Win Over Kumuls

Fijians Shine In Win Over Kumuls
Daniel Saifiti of the Vodafone Fijian Bati takes on the Kumul’s defence. Photo: Herald Sun
May 03
08:40 2015

Korbin Sims has trumpeted his Maroons credentials to Mal Meninga by starring against his Papua New Guinea team.

An NRL-rich Vodafone Fijian Bati side outclassed PNG 22-10 at Cbus Super Stadium in front of a crowd the Titans would love to have.

A 60 metre intercept try to Fiji centre Fabian Goodall in 76th minute sealed Fiji’s victory in what was the inaugural test between the two nations.

Sims and another Queensland-eligible Bati forward in Jayson Bukuya were their country’s best as they rumbled through PNG while Melbourne Storm sensation Marika Koroibete was at times untouchable out wide in a two try performance.

The first of a double header of Pacific tests was expected to be a mismatch.

Fiji had 11 NRL players in their 17 compared to PNG’s two.

Considering their disadvantage in experience, the Kumuls were excellent and while they struggled to complete sets they regularly thumped Fijians to the turf.

Fiji prop and North Queensland Cowboys prodigy Viliame Kikau was carried off the field after being knocked out cold attempting to tackle the thighs of one Kumul.

While Fiji featured regular NRL players like Kevin Naiqama, Daryl Millard, Apisai Koroisau, Eto Nabuli, Sims and Bukuya, the Kumuls used an inexperienced team that was mainly comprised of players from their Intrust Super Cup team the Hunters.

It was one of the Huters’ success stories, Stanton Albert, who gave them hope in the last 10 minutes.

Signed to the Penrith Panthers after impressive form for the Hunters last year, the 19-year-old Albert surged through three Bati players to score under the posts.

It is understood Meninga is major fan of Sims who is part of Queensland’s emerging Origin squad.

Sims would provide the Maroons’ pack with a point of difference.

While he stands 190cm and weighs 110 kilograms, Sims has an 80 minute engine and can play prop through to lock.

He made 36 tackles last night and ran for 160 minutes in a faultless performance that Meninga watched from the stadium’s stands.

The 23-year-old from Gerringong was on the Broncos books during his teenage years which is how he qualifies for Queensland.

It is expected he will at least be brought into the Maroons camp during this year’s series, which is just one month away from starting.

While some will criticise the commitment of players who represent multiple teams, there is no denying those who played last night were fiercely proud of the jerseys they wore.

The Vodafone Fijian Bati’s  pre-match hymn brought tears to the eyes of some of their players.

Feedback:  sportsdesk@fijisun.com.fj

 

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