A Bati Star Is Born

Turuva’s performace brights up Fiji’s night at Campbelltown
27 Jun 2022 12:06
A Bati Star Is Born
Vodafone Fijian Bati fullback Sunia Turuva (with ball) was the star of the Pacific Test match against Papua New Guinea Kumuls at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney, Australia, on June 25, 2022. Photo: Fox Spo

Rookie Vodafone Fijian Bati fullback Sunia Turuva’s standout performance has made Australia rugby league analysts sit up and take notice.

Even NRL TV commentators have indicated that the 19-year-old Fijian is a definite starter for the Rugby League World Cup in England at the end of the year.

This was despite the Bati’s 24-14 loss to the Papua New Guinea Kumuls at the Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday night.


Turuva was the Bati’s best player as he recorded more run metres (252) and more post-contact metres (97) plus scoring two tries.

Bati hooker Penioni Tagituimua had a good tackle count of 52 and should be an ideal back up for Api Koroisau and Joe Lovodua.

Contracted with Penrith until 2024, Turuva has yet to make his NRL debut.


Bati forward Tui Kamikamica said Turuva is primed to impress in the NRL once he gets his chance.

“He saved a couple of tries there, he was always putting his body on the line for us,” Kamikamica said.

“We were always confident he was going to catch the high balls even though there were people contesting for the ball.”

“To see a fullback doing stuff like that, it gave us a lot of confidence.”


He’s going to be a very good player in the future.”

Bati coach Joe Rabele was also pleased with Turuva’s performance.

“This was his first game for Fiji Bati,” he said.

“The way he was catching balls from the back and running the kick returns, it was amazing to see him play the way he did today. I was very impressed.”


Rabele said the absence of Canterbury playmaker Brandon Wakeham hurt his side, especially in attack at the end of sets.

“Kevin (Naiqama) was playing in the halves because of Brandon Wakeham’s suspension.

“We’ll try to work on that to prepare ourselves for the World Cup.”

It was good build-up for us for the World Cup.

We didn’t get the job done but both teams played very well.”



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