SPORTS

Naiqama: We Can Still Improve

Naiqama, in a post-match interview, said the big win was a perfect response to the team’s poor outing at last month’s Rugby League World 9s tournament.
03 Nov 2019 12:25
Naiqama: We Can Still Improve
Vodafone Fijian Bati hooker Joe Lovodua does the Fijian traditional ‘cobo’ gesture after scoring the team’s first try.

Vodafone Fijian Bati captain Kevin Naiqama has praised their forwards in the crushing 44-18 win over Toa Samoa in the Oceania Cup at Eden Park, New Zealand, yesterday.

Penrith Panthers back-rower Viliame Kikau starred for the Fijians, scoring twice in the first-half, in a dominant display against their South Pacific rivals.

Naiqama, in a post-match interview, said the big win was a perfect response to the team’s poor outing at last month’s Rugby League World 9s tournament.

The Saint Helens centre also had a hand in the victory, scoring Fiji’s final try in the 66th minute to put the game beyond Samoa’s reach.

Halfback Brandon Wakeham also made his presence felt, completing five out of five conversions and putting in a slick passing display.

“Our game plan was very simple and I’m happy with the boys for executing exactly what the coach had structured for us. We’ve got another job next week against Papua New Guinea,” Naiqama said.

Vodafone Fijian Bati players celebrate a try against Toa Samoa in the Oceania Cup at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand on November 2, 2019.  Photo: Nrl.com

Vodafone Fijian Bati players celebrate a try against Toa Samoa in the Oceania Cup at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand on November 2, 2019. Photo: Nrl.com

“Every game you obviously want to win and we had a disappointing 9s tournament but we also wanted to learn from it. We’re either winning or learning lessons and I think we did that in the 9s.”

 

Naiqama said a strong showing from the forwards, led by Kikau, Joe Lovodua and D’Rhys Miller, set the platform for the team.

However, Naiqama believes there is still room for improvement for the Bati’s next match against the Papua New Guinea Kumuls next Saturday.

He said: “Yes,  I think we can improve. As the coaches have said, regular test matches will only improve the tier-2 nation’s football moving forward.

What happened: Two quick- tries from hooker Lovodua and lock Miller in the 6th and 8th minute respectively set the tone for the match.

Kikau’s try in the 14th coupled with Wakeham’s accurate goal-kicking saw Fiji race to an 18-0 lead within the first 20 minutes.

The onslaught never looked like stopping.

Prop Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu scored next, with four further tries from Kikau, Isaac Lumelume, Brayden Wiliame and Naiqama deciding the match.

The Samoans scored four tries of their own, including two for winger Jorge Taufua, but were completely blown away by Brandon Costin’s Fiji Bati.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedbacksheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: