Rugby League

New Fiji Bati Culture

God comes first, no alcohol. NRL players free to leave-Brandon Costin
24 Jun 2019 15:48
New Fiji Bati Culture
Vodafone Fijian Bati team in their changing room after their match against Lebanon on June 22,2019. Photo: Leone Cabenatabua

Works to instil a new culture in the Vodafone Fijian Bati side has started, confirms Bati head coach Brandon Costin after their 58-14 win over Lebanon at the Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, Australia on Saturday night.

“God comes first in this culture we’re putting in place,” he said.

It is understood that Costin had put in place a no alcohol rule when the team were camping in Sydney for the past week.

He re-confirmed his earlier statement to SUNsports that if an NRL player does not want to adapt to the team’s new culture then he is free to leave.

“We are still building up and it’s important that we must keep on working hard.”

Costin said the scoreline gave an impression that they had played well.

“We played a different style that we had worked on during practice. However there were a few disruptions and we have to work on our discipline.

“We’ve to continue doing that and at the same time try to reduce the flow of errors.

“We allowed Lebanon to score tries and that means we’ve got work to do. We’ve to keep on improving.”

Costin said the highlight of their win was because they had a very young side.

”Very young players lIke Joe Lovodua, Brandon Wakeham and Sitiveni Moceidreke,,Penioni Tagituimua- these players put their bodies on the line”.

Maika Sivo and Suliasi Vunivalu scored entertaining doubles as Fiji Bati cruised to a 58-14 thrashing of Lebanon.

After a week of turmoil between the playing group and the Lebanese Rugby League Federation, the Cedars had no answers for a dominant Fijian side that produced six first half tries in a 24-minute blitz.

Two tries to Vunivalu and a four-pointer to rampaging forward Viliame Kikau set up the win with a 34-4 lead at halftime.

Wakeham A Star On The Rise

Brandon Wakeham.Photo: Leone Cabenatabua

Brandon Wakeham.Photo: Leone Cabenatabua

Brandon Wakeham is being regarded as the next big thing in the National Rugby League (NRL)

Less than 24 hours after being named the Australian Fijian National Rugby League’s James Pickering Under-20  Rising Star award, he got the Best Player  award in the clash against Lebanon.

The 19-year-old hails from Savudrodro in Savusavu while his Mum is from Lebanon.

“I have not been to Savusavu but I hope to go there one day and all I heard that it is really beautiful there,” he said.

Wakeham said it was great to be given an opportunity to play for the Vodafone Fijian Bati rugby league side in the Pacific Test.

The Canterbury Bulldogs halfback combined well with first five eight Sitiveni Moceidreke at first five. This had been a crucial area where the Bati lacked in since the 2008, 2013 and 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Costin said Wakeham has shown a lot of promise.

“For us it’s great because Brandon has acknowledged his Fijian heritage.”

Costin said Wakeham and Moceidreke are young players who are now being groomed for the 2021 RLWC.

Also, showing a lot of promise was 19-year-old Penioni Tagituimua who came as an interchange.

It is understood that Sydney Roosters scouts were at the Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night to watch the Nadera Panthers halfback play.

Edited by Osea Bola

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