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Bati Officials Learn From Loss

The Vodafone Fijian Bati are serious about their chances for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) to be held in England. After a remarkable performance in the RLWC by
27 Nov 2017 11:00
Bati Officials Learn From Loss
From left: Vodafone Fijian Bati assistant coach Joe Rabele, Pastor Iliatia Tagituimua, Mesake Navugona (manager), unnamed official, Pio Seci, Fiji National Rugby League deputy chairman Peni Musunamasi at Nadi International Airport on November 26, 2017.. Photo: Anushil Kumar of Vodafone Fiji

The Vodafone Fijian Bati are serious about their chances for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) to be held in England.

After a remarkable performance in the RLWC by reaching the semifinals for the third consecutive time, the Bati will start their preparation next year in their endeavor to win their first World Cup.

Fiji National Rugby League (FNRL) deputy chairman Peni Musunamasi confirmed this yesterday.

“We need to prepare early for the next Rugby League World Cup and we’re going to start our preparations next year,” he said.

“We had a short preparation for this World Cup and we have achieved a great result.”

Musunamasi said a major part of their preparations for the 2021 RLWC would be to have all their players together for a long period of time.

“Unlike this year where they trained together for a short period of time before flying across to Australia.

“This is one thing that we are looking at to ensure that all players are available right from the beginning of next year so that we have a good preparation,” Musunamasi said.

He said they were really proud of the Bati’s performance.

“We have achieved a great result and it was mistakes that cost us the semifinal against Australia. “We are going to work on those mistakes.”

The team officials and local-based-player Pio Seci arrived into the country early yesterday morning while the rest of the team are going to fly in next week.

 

NAIQAMA’S CALL

Bati skipper Kevin Naiqama believes the Bati must continue playing Test matches against the top rugby league nations to close the gap at international level.

Naiqama’s side captured the hearts of league fans throughout this year’s World Cup but were bundled out of the tournament on Friday night, following a 54-6 loss to Australia.

It was a case of deja vu for the Fijians, who have now lost to the Kangaroos in the semifinals of the last three World Cup tournaments.

But Fiji have not played Australia in a Test match outside of the World Cup, something Naiqama said must change if the game wanted to close the gap between first and second-tier nations.

“The only way we’re going to get better is by being challenged by the bigger teams,” he said after Friday night’s loss.

Bati coach Mick Potter agreed that while Test matches needed to occur more regularly for the Bati, he knew the pressure players were under.

As an assistant coach with Newcastle, Potter said the biggest challenge facing international rugby league was the workload for players.

 

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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