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Editorial: Bati reps need our support and prayers for a tough cup mission

Editorial: Bati reps need our support and prayers for a tough cup mission
Vodafone Fiji Bati coach, Mick Potter
October 09
11:00 2017

Vodafone Fijian Bati head coach Mick Potter has selected the 24-member squad that is going to represent us in the Rugby League World Cup that gets underway in Sydney, Australia on October 27.

The former Wests Tigers coach had made it clear last Friday that the selection was based on youth, experience and versatility.

“It is paramount that we need youth, we need experience and we need versatility,” Potter told this newspaper.

“The more experience we got the better our squad is and we’re going to have a good mix of experience and youth in the side. But normally if you do have injuries you need that versatility and that’s what I’m looking for when trying to get a balance with our squad. As far as what I’ve seen with the players in the NRL and those in other competitions, is that we’ve that balance.”

It’s reassuring to see that players announced by the Minister of Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou after the Battle of the Bati clash at the ANZ Stadium, last Saturday was simply based on what Potter had highlighted.

Everything, he says, boils down to performance.

There was no room for favouritism and even star players like Jayson Bukuya, Waqa Blake and Daniel Saifaiti, who were injured, had to face the axe.

But there’s an exception on powerhouse Brisbane Broncos forward Korbin Sims who according to his older brother Ashton has recuperated well from his injury and will march into camp today.

The onus is now on our players and officials to make things happen at the Rugby League World Cup.

It’s not going to be easy especially when we’ve made it to the semi-finals of the 2008 and 2013 Rugby League World Cups. The challenge for them is to either equal that feat or go a step further by reaching the final.

Also, what will make our campaign harder is the fact that Tonga and Samoa are going to field all their NRL stars while Papua New Guinea are brimming with confidence after winning the Queensland Cup for the first time.

And topping all that is the fact that the whole of Fiji has high expectation of the Bati and are not going to settle for anything less.

That’s why veteran hooker James Storer wasted no time in saying that he had no second thoughts about putting his body on the line for his country as they’re not merely there to just play another game or make up the numbers.

There’s no turning back as our Bati go through their final phase of preparation this week. They need all the support they can get and for us the only best way we can do that is to remember them in our daily prayers.


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