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Lovodua Ready To Start At Hooker

Vodafone Fijian Bati’s Joe Lovodua is confident of a positive start in the hooker’s position as they take on the Papua New Guinea Kumuls in Sydney, Australia, at 6pm today.
23 Jun 2018 10:00
Lovodua Ready To Start At Hooker
Joe Lovodua. Photo: FNRL

Vodafone Fijian Bati’s Joe Lovodua is confident of a positive start in the hooker’s position as they take on the Papua New Guinea Kumuls in Sydney, Australia, at 6pm today.

The Vabea, Kadavu native expects a tough battle from their Melanesian brothers.

“Good to see a lot of familiar faces in the team from last year’s World Cup, we know PNG will come hard on us but we just have to match them in all areas,” Lovodua said.

“We building a stronger squad, I know the challenges I have in my hooker role but I believe in my team that we will be able to counter the PNG side.”

The Fijians certainly have a superior team on paper in terms of talent and NRL experience. And advancing to the final four of last year’s World Cup was a huge achievement.

Lining-up for the Matt Adamson-coached Bati side are big names like Jarryd Hayne and Suliasi Vunivalu.

Vunivalu believes they would need to be physical against PNG.

“The camp has been good, met up with few new faces, PNG is a very physical side and we got to be very physical as well and play the full 80 minutes,” Vunivalu said.

“Matt Adamson is a great coach and we are all looking forward to Saturday.”

Adamson believes with the support from all Fijians the team will do well.

“Our preparation has been going on well, good spirit in the Fiji Islands within the Fijian people and we need their support. The players came into camp for this Pacific Test embracing each other, the young players blending in well with the older guys quickly, they have a strong connection,” he said.

Adamson understands the Kumuls have strength in their midfield.

“The Kumuls are good in the middle so we making sure we tighten them in the middle and play some good footy and our physicality is important.

“We just need to get things right, be patient, we know it won’t be easy but we will need to be focussed.”

The Kumuls reached the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup before bowing out 36-6 to eventual finallists England.

 

Line-up:

PNG- 1 Justin Olam, 2 Junior Rau, 3 Thompson Teteh, 4 Willie Minoga, 5 Richard Pandia, 6 Lachlan Lam, 7 Watson Boas, 8 Stanton Albert, 9 James Segeyaro (c), 10 Luke Page, 11 Rhyse Martin, 12 Nixon Putt, 13 Rod Griffin

Interchange: 14 Kurt Baptiste, 15 Rhadley Brawa, 16 Enock Maki, 17 Ase Boas, 18 Nene Macdonald

 

Fiji- 1 Kevin Naiqama (c), 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Akuila Uate, 4 Tyrone Phillips, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Henry Raiwalui, 7 Jarryd Hayne, 8 Kane Evans, 9 Joe Lovodua, 10 Tui Kamikamica, 11 King Vuniyayawa, 12 Junior Salesi Fainga, 13 Jayson Bukuya

Interchange: 14 Eloni Vunakece, 15 Pio Seci, 16 Sitiveni Moceidreke, 17 Pio Sokobalavu.

 

 Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 


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