SPORTS

Rising Stars For Bati

  Vodafone Fijian Bati head coach Mick Potter has stuck with a young talented team to face Tonga in the Pacific Test in Sydney on Saturday. The former Wests Tigers
02 May 2017 11:00
Rising Stars For Bati
Wests Tigers winger Kevin Naiqama is given the responsibility to captain the Vodafone Fijian Bati in their Pacific Test clash against Tonga on Saturday. Photo: Facebook

 

Vodafone Fijian Bati head coach Mick Potter has stuck with a young talented team to face Tonga in the Pacific Test in Sydney on Saturday.

The former Wests Tigers coach has already got one eye on the Rugby League World Cup to be held later this year as he works on building up his combination. The Bati will be captained by Wests Tigers winger Kevin Naiqama.

Among those selected is 21-year-old Melbourne Storm sensation, Suliasi Vunivalu.  Potter told Radio New Zealand that the Suva-born flyer did not require any convincing.

“He certainly adds some strikepower to our edge,” Potter said. “He’s a player that can jump high for kicks, he’s elusive, he’s strong in the backfield. He certainly adds some zip for us so it does give us some potency on the edge with him on the wing.”

However, Potter said Gold Coast Titans star Jarryd Hayne and Manly’s Akuila Uate will not feature in the Pacific Test but remained in the frame for the RLWC.

 

VUNIVALU MAGIC

Vunivalu has scored some memorable tries for Melbourne Storm but his effort against St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium last Sunday defied the laws of both physics and gravity. The Fijian flyer was making a beeline for the corner, as the clinical Storm continued to pile on points against the hapless Dragons in the first half, but the defence was quickly converging.

Vunivalu maintained his course and as he was about to be bundled over the sideline jumped, spun and somehow managed to plant the ball down one-handed in an amazing display of athleticism.

The decision was sent upstairs to the video referee and the Channel Nine commentary team was stunned when the green light was flashed to take Storm to a 16-0 lead.

“There’s no way he can score this try,” Andrew Johns said.

“(There’s) that iconic photo of Michael Jordan just flying through the air. It was like he was hovering above the ground.”

Mathew Thompson added: “He knows he’s going to go out there so he goes aerial and backs his athleticism to get it down. He just takes off.”

 

BATI: Waqa Blake (Penrith), Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters), Tui Kamikamica (Melbourne Storm), Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers), Apisai Koroisau (Manly Sea Eagles), Taane Milne (St George Illawarra Dragons), Marcelo Montoya (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Sitiveni Moceidreke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Kevin Naiqama (Wests Tigers), Ben Nakubuwai (Sunshine Coast), Tyrone Phillips (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Henry Raiwalui (Manly Sea Eagles), Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights), Jacob Saifiti (Newcastle Knights), Korbin Sims (Brisbane Broncos), Tariq Sims (St George Illawarra Dragons), James Storer (Illawarra), Eloni Vunakece (Sydney Roosters), Suliasi Vunivalu (Melbourne Storm).

Edited by Paula Tuvuki

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