Opinion

EDITORIAL:Let’s Not Panic Yet With The Vodafone Fiji Bati

The Pacific Tri Nations Series is now over. We may call it as a series of friendly rugby league matches between our Vodafone Fijian Bati, Papua New Guinea Kumuls and
18 Oct 2017 11:16
EDITORIAL:Let’s Not Panic Yet With The Vodafone Fiji Bati
Vodafone Fijian Bati's Ashton Sims, Kevin Naiqama, and Daniel Saifiti at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on October 17, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Pacific Tri Nations Series is now over.

We may call it as a series of friendly rugby league matches between our Vodafone Fijian Bati, Papua New Guinea Kumuls and the Australian Kangaroos. However, the stark realities at the end of the Series are;

The Vodafone Fijian Bati came last. We lost both our games and things seemed to have not gone right at all.

The other, which was another grave concern, is the Fiji Bati’s failure to score any points despite the fact we had fielded players who were regarded during the National Rugby League (NRL) competition as the world’s best finishers.

Even Bati head coach Mick Potter had expressed his disappointment at the performance of the team labelling it as very loose and was very critical about their fitness. So what now for our Bati? Are we going to expect a repeated performance at the Rugby League World Cup that gets underway on October 27 in Sydney, Australia? Is our World Cup campaign already coming to an end even before the tournament starts?

Definitely not! In fact, what has happened should be viewed as a blessing in disguise. This is because it’s going to bring the best out of the Bati side.

We have got to remember that we have a side of professional players, specialist coaches and fitness experts. They know what needs to be done to ensure that our players are in the best shape of their lives and play to the max during the World Cup,

Training under the scorching heat at Prince Charles Park, Nadi, this week is what the players need to brush away any cobwebs and help build-up on their fitness. This is what happened in 2005 when our national rugby 7s team trained in Nadi for only a few days before they went on to win the world title in Hong Kong.

The arrival of newly wedded Apisai Koroisau on Monday is another added boost in the Bati’s final phase of preparation.

The Manly Sea Eagles hooker is going to work on his combination with the evergreen Jarryd Hayne, Kevin Naiqama, James Storer, Suliasi Vunivalu, Taane Milne, Henry Raiwalui, Akuila Uate and the list goes on. Koroisau has also warned the Bati to expect a tough tussle from their pool opponents USA, Wales and Italy.

There’s no need to press the panic button as of now but we should allow Potter to work with the players in rectifying areas of play that were exploited by PNG and Australia.

So let’s rally behind the Vodafone Fijian Bati as they chase a spot in the RLWC final. Nothing is impossible if they only plan their work right but more importantly to take it one game at a time. Go, Bati, Go!

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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